Fedorin Cup finds voice, and the message is loud and clear
The veteran Southern California broadcaster wears many hats, including public address announcer for the Anaheim Ducks, so helping out with a hockey game was a natural fit.
Hulett soon discovered the Fedorin Cup, which will face off for the 19th time on Aug. 20 at The Rinks-Anaheim Ice, was not a typical hockey game, nor was it a typical charity event.
“The first time I did the event, it was packed with as many people as the fire marshal would allow,” he said. “What struck me was everyone you met has been impacted by cancer.
“So have I, but I hadn’t thought about it in a while.”
Yet there was optimism – and a fighting spirit – in the air, just as there is each year when the non-profit ASFA puts on the event to support the fight against cancer and young athletes in need.
“No one was sad,” Hulett said. “There was a resilience for a common goal – to beat cancer into the ground.”
Eric Fedorin, an Orange County men’s league player, was diagnosed with brain cancer many years ago and his fight inspired the creation of ASFA and the Fedorin Cup. Its namesake passed away just before the second game was played in 1999.
The event includes current and former NHL players, as well as numerous players from California who have advanced to various higher levels in the game. ASFA president Rick Hutchinson, who also is The Rinks’ hockey director, never has a problem finding players willing to give their time to the event.
“Guys reach out to me, which is special,” he said. “Anyone who is in town will say yes. They love playing in it, and it’s for a good cause.”
The Fedorin Cup took on added meaning for Hutchinson when his brother, Bob, passed away from cancer two years ago. If anything, that further strengthened Hutchinson’s resolve to get out the message about defeating cancer.
“It’s all about making it a family event,” he said. “The sooner kids get their arms around that the better. It could affect their mom or their dad.”
As the event has grown, so have the fundraising vehicles. Last year, Mite-aged players could participate in an exhibition game with pros between periods. Stick boy roles are sold, as are a few player spots. Jerseys and Anaheim Ducks memorabilia are auctioned off. A chuck-a-puck contest is held, as is a wildly popular casino night after the game.
“We want it to be interactive for families,” Hutchinson said.
An army of volunteers helps stage the event each year.
“Some you know their back story, some you don’t,” Hutchinson said. “They just want to be a part of something, and like the players they are extremely loyal. They are the backbone of what we do.”
Count Hulett, who lost his father to cancer, among that enthusiastic group, and he has put his talents to work to fundraise in a unique way. Last year, the man who popularized the call “Anaheim Ducks goooaaalll scored by …” sold customized goal calls through his website philhulett.com for a small fee. He raised more than $2500 in a matter of weeks for ASFA.
“I was shocked and overwhelmed,” he said, adding that fans should watch for an announcement on philhulett.com in the coming weeks for details about how to get their goal call this year.
For more information on ASFA and the Fedorin Cup as well as roster announcements, visit asfafedorincup.com.
2016 FEDORIN CUP
When: Aug. 20 at The Rinks-Anaheim Ice
What: Hockey picks a fight against cancer at the 19th annual charity hockey game and casino night. The Athletic Sports Fund of America will donate all proceeds to worthy causes such as the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer, the American Cancer Society and the USC Norris Cancer Center, as well as to support Southern California families in need.
Participants: Numerous current and former professional players with ties to California
2:30 p.m. – Check-in and pre-game party
3:30 p.m. – Event doors open
3:45 p.m. – Warmup
4 p.m. – Player introductions
4:15 p.m. – Drop the puck!
6:30 p.m. – Game ends (silent auction ends after second intermission)
6:45 p.m. – Postgame party and VIP casino night
– Chris Bayee