Honda Center before an Anaheim Ducks game. Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Honda Center before an Anaheim Ducks game. Photo credit: Wiki Commons

The Anaheim Ducks are asking fans attending Wednesday’s game against the Nashville Predators to bring “crazy socks for courageous kids” that will be given to cancer patients at children’s hospitals throughout the world.

The socks are to be dropped off at the south and northeast entrances to Honda Center. The request for socks is dubbed a “JoyDrive” and is intended to support the Rancho Santa Margarita-based Jessie Rees Foundation, which has assisted 125,000 children in all 50 states and 30 nations.

The foundation honors Jessica Joy Rees, known as Jessie, a 12-year-old girl who was being treated for two brain tumors at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Her compassion for others led her to ask her parents “How can we help them?” referring to the other children who were in long-term, in- patient treatment at the hospital.

After receiving approval from her parents to find a way to help, Jessie created “JoyJars,” fun-filled gifts of joy to share with her peers who were fighting cancer who she continued to encourage to “Never Ever Give Up,” her personal motto and message.

Before her death in 2012, Jessie personally stuffed and sent out 3,000 JoyJars to children fighting cancer in homes and hospitals, including delivering some to children being treated at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte.

The foundation seeks to fulfill its mission to ensure that every child fighting cancer has the support to never give up by connecting with families, bringing awareness to their stories, offering resources and sending the entire family encouragement.

Proceeds of an online auction of Ducks autographed jerseys worn during the team’s warm-up and an in-game auction of  Ducks memorabilia will benefit the Jessie Rees Foundation. Bids can be placed at anaheimducks.com/auction

The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a Jessie Rees Foundation “Never Give Up” wristband.

The efforts on behalf of the Jessie Rees Foundation are an element of the Ducks’ Hockey Fights Cancer Night, part of the monthlong leaguewide effort to raise awareness and help in the fight against cancer.

Ducks players will have lavender Hockey Fights Cancer decals affixed to their helmets throughout the month. Ducks coaches, broadcasters and executives will sport lavender Hockey Fights Cancer ties in recognition of the evening. Lavender is the color representing awareness for all types of cancer.

Fans will have the opportunity to fill out “I Fight For” cards to honor those that have battled cancer. The cards will be available at the south and northeast entrances and on the Main Concourse.

Fans will be invited to display their “I Fight For” cards during a moment of recognition taking place during the first period.

The Hockey Fights Cancer initiative was founded in December 1998 by the NHL and National Hockey League Players Association.

More than $16 million has been raised to support national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, and player and local charities in the United States and Canada.

—City News Service

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