Erie, Pennsylvania – 10 years ago, Voice of the Otters Shawn Bednard was sitting in his friend’s living room when he heard news that would impact him and his hometown community. Davison Middle School teacher Mrs. Christine McAuliffe, just 44-years-old, succumbed to her battle with Breast Cancer. A beacon of hope for so many teenagers trying to find their place – including Bednard – McAuliffe’s passing left a lasting impact in the hearts and minds of so many in the tight-knit community.
“I truly don’t know how I would’ve gotten through Middle School or become who I am without her support and belief. This time in my life was incredibly difficult for me emotionally and for my family, and I was often depressed or temperamental,” said Bednard. “Mrs. McAuliffe would always listen to me, talk to me, and help me keep going. She always looked for the best in her students, and made them feel valid and important.”
With the 10 year anniversary of McAuliffe’s memory in his mind, Shawn Bednard will be taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign this October in order to help raise awareness and fight breast cancer.
“When I think about how many more lives [Mrs. McAuliffe] could’ve changed, how many more students she could’ve affected, and how much more life she had to live, I know why I want to do my part to fight against this awful disease,” said Bednard. “I wear pink in memory of Mrs. McAuliffe, and in the fight to prevent the loss of heroes, teachers, and mothers like her.”
Every day during the month of October, Bednard will incorporate the color pink into his daily outfits in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer initiatives, including innovative research, patient services, and education around screenings and risk reduction.
Through October, Bednard and the Otters will be using their platform on Social Media to educate fans deeper on the topic of Breast Cancer awareness, testing, and information, leading up to our Pink in the Rink Night on February 12. The Otters will also follow Bednard daily on his activities and the fun he has sporting the Pink during October in the Erie community.
Bednard will be the second member of the Erie Otters to be part of the Real Men Wear Pink campaign, taking the baton from former Assistant Coach Wes Wolfe, who served as the 2020 campaign ambassador. Wolfe – now Head Coach with the Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) – set an initial fundraising goal of $5,000, and ended up surpassing that in a major way thanks to the support and generosity of the Erie community. At the end of the fundraising campaign, Wolfe, the Otters, and Otters fans finished with $7,081.
For the 2021 campaign, Bednard has set a fundraising goal of $7,000. To assist Bednard’s initiative, the Otters are donating a portion of proceeds for every piece of Breast Cancer Awareness Themed merchandise sold. Fans are encouraged to donate to Bednard’s and the Otters’ campaign for RMWP and the ACS by clicking HERE.
“Being able to use the Otters’ platform and fans to raise awareness and funds for a terrific cause is an absolute honor. We have the best fans in all of hockey, and they have always been an instrumental part in our work with the community,” said Bednard. “Most of all, I’m excited to create fun campaigns and promotions to activate our organization, fans, and community in an effort to show up and show out for Real Men Wear Pink!”
The American Cancer Society is a registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, and all donations toward the campaign and organization are tax-deductible. For more information on the American Cancer Society and Real Men Wear Pink, click here.
About the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign
Real Men Wear Pink gives men a leadership role in the fight against breast cancer. Community leaders around the nation use the power of pink to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives, including innovative research, patient services, and education around screenings and risk reduction. It’s one important way ACS attacking cancer from every angle.
About the American Cancer Society
The mission of the American Cancer Society is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. As we all know, when cancer strikes, it hits from all sides. That’s why ACS is committed to attacking cancer from every angle. With more than 100 years of experience and leadership, ACS is a global force, fighting all cancers on all fronts, across the US and around the globe.
With the help of millions of supporters, ACS has launched breakthrough research, created empowering resources for people to outsmart cancer, enabled local communities to support those affected, and convened powerful activists to create awareness and impact.
For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at email@example.com.