FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (October 2, 2012) – The New England Patriots will promote breast cancer awareness during the month of October as part of the NFL and the American Cancer Society's A Crucial Catch campaign and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's (NEPCF) Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
At this Sunday's home game, the Patriots will highlight breast cancer awareness by honoring breast cancer survivors who will line up on the field with Patriots cheerleaders for player introductions as part of Celebrate Volunteerism's week-long focus on healthcare volunteerism (Oct. 7-13). Breast cancer survivors participating in the on-field ceremony include Patriots defensive tackle Kyle Love's mother-in-law, Wanda Walker. Other breast cancer survivors with ties to the team include Patriots head trainer Jim Whalen's mother, Elaine Whalen, a two-time breast cancer survivor, as well as VP of Media and Community Relations Stacey James' mother, Sylvia James, will also welcome the team onto the field.
In addition, Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Andre Tippett will present a $50,000 grant on behalf of the Patriots and NFL to the Community Health Center of Franklin County through the American Cancer Society's CHANGE program which aims to provide breast cancer screenings and early detection programming to areas of greatest need. Fans can also learn more about breast cancer awareness and screenings at tables throughout Gillette Stadium and through announcements made during the game.
"We all know someone who has been affected by cancer," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "This Sunday's game will highlight the importance of early detection and education that could ultimately save a life. We want to spare our fans the heartache and difficulties of battling this life-threatening disease. Together, we aim to one day 'kick' cancer."
Patriots players and coaches will wear pink game apparel at home on October 7 against the Broncos and the following week at Seattle.
The Patriots and other NFL breast cancer awareness games will include:
- Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees
- Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
- Pink coins used for the coin toss
- Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
- Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
- On-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners
- Pink goal post padding in end zones
- Breast cancer awareness pompoms, shirts and wristbands for cheerleaders
Game-worn pink merchandise and footballs will be autographed post-game and auctioned at NFL Auction (www.nfl.com/auction). All NFL Auction proceeds from the sale of breast cancer awareness items during the month of October will benefit the American Cancer Society. Special pink merchandise will also be available at www.NFLShop.com, www.neweracap.com, www.nike.com, in stadium retail stores, at Dick's Sporting Goods, Hatworld and Lids, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer charities. Pink products will also be available in the Patriots ProShop.
Following Sunday's game, Patriots players will visit cancer survivors and thank healthcare volunteers as part of Patriots Community Tuesdays in conjunction with the Celebrate Volunteerism week-long focus on healthcare.
In 2010, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's season-long Kick Cancer initiative aimed to raise awareness about cancer and the importance of early detection through messages to fans and the distribution of educational material at home games in partnership with Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital – the founding hospitals of Partners HealthCare – and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.