The Western Hockey League and Re/Max of Western Canada announced that over $460,000 was raised through two seasons of the Re/Max Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation campaign.
From Jan. 19 to March 9, the WHL’s 17 Canadian member clubs played host to themed game nights, complete with a variety of promotions for fans in attendance.
“No force in Canada is stronger than Canadians who love hockey, so when the Western Hockey League joined forces with The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Re/Max of Western Canada to promote organ donation, you knew something great was going to happen,” says Don Cherry in a news release. “In two years, together, they raised nearly half a million dollars and brought organ donation front and centre in people’s minds. Last year there was a rise of transplants in Canada by 2.6 per cent, in the west that percentage was 13.3 per cent. All involved should be very proud.”
A special-edition bobblehead was given to 1,000 fans at each game along with 1,000 plaid house-shaped Re/Max drink koozies. Fans in attendance also took photos with a life-size Don Cherry cut out. On the ice, WHL clubs sported their own unique and specially designed Don Cherry-themed uniforms, complete with player-selected nicknames instead of traditional surnames.
Fans had the opportunity to bid on the limited-edition jerseys, with proceeds going to local chapters of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. In addition to game-worn uniforms, fans were
given the chance to bid on a Don Cherry-autographed jersey in each participating WHL market.
“The generosity of Western Canadians is truly remarkable,” says Elaine Langhout, director of regional advertising for Re/Max of Western Canada. “At this year’s games, we even saw some folks wearing last year’s jerseys and we thank all the fans who came out and supported us and this tremendous cause, and most of all, we thank Don Cherry and his family for sharing their story.”