Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale women's hockey team hosts its annual "White Out for Mandi" Friday night at Ingalls Rink, paying tribute to Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) while raising funds for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. The Bulldogs host ECAC Hockey and Ivy League rival Princeton Friday night at 7 p.m.
Friday night's "White Out for Mandi" is the first major fundraiser for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. Yale's captain, senior forward Aleca Hughes, started the charity in memory of Mandi, the Yale center who passed away in April after battling cancer (acute myeloid leukemia) for more than two years.
Special white t-shirts are on sale now (team members are selling them outside Commons during lunch time), and youth hockey teams are encouraged to come wearing white jerseys. The Bulldogs will honor Mandi in a special pre-game ceremony starting at 6:45, including a ceremonial puck drop by their 10-year-old teammate, Giana. The team "adopted" Giana, who had recently been operated on for a brain tumor, and introduced her at last year's "White Out for Mandi".
The goal for Friday is to pack Ingalls Rink, with everyone wearing white, as a "White Out for Mandi" show of support. No admission will be charged, and donations for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation will be accepted at the door. The team is also lining up pledges for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation from donors based on the attendance total, so that every person who walks through the doors that night will count towards the final donation total.
Yale has also lined up donations from other NCAA teams. The following teams have had 100 percent participation in donating toward the "White Out for Mandi":
- Dartmouth women's hockey
- Dartmouth women's lacrosse
- Middlebury women's hockey
- Northeastern women's hockey
- Princeton women's hockey
- St. Lawrence men's hockey
Yale is also scheduled to auction off the following items during the "White Out for Mandi" game Friday night:
- New York Rangers jersey, signed by Ruslan Fedotenko
- New York Rangers tickets
- NHL hat, signed by Alex Ovechkin
- NHL puck, signed by Patrick Kane
- Chris Higgins autographed jersey
- Max Pacioretty autographed jersey
- Prentiss Hockey - three workouts valued at $300
The "White Out for Mandi" will also help raise awareness of the need for marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors. In an effort to save her life last year, Mandi had a stem cell transplant utilizing blood from two anonymous umbilical cord blood donations. Stem cells for patients with life-threatening illnesses like Mandi's can also come from marrow donors. Yale hosts an annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive every spring to add potential donors to the Be The Match® Registry. To date, at least six matches for patients in need of transplants have been identified through those efforts. One of those matches was a Yale field hockey player, junior Lexy Adams.