Nicole Betker

University of Saskatchewan Huskie athletes are doing what they can to find a cure for cancer.

In 2008, Huskie athletes began the initiative Play For A Cure in hopes of raising money for cancer research. The fundraising initiative has continued in 2011-12. Together Huskie athletes have raised more than $65,000 for varies cancer agencies.

Women’s Hockey Play For A Cure events

On Friday night, the Huskies will wear the special pink Huskies Play For A Cure jerseys against the Manitoba Bisons. Each Huskie is looking for alumni or fans to pre-purchase the game-worn jerseys. The women’s hockey team will also be selling raffle tickets for a pink Play For A Cure Quilt. Check out the display near the Rutherford Rink concession on Friday night. All money will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Track & Field Play For A Cure events

The Huskies, led by hurdler Monique Coutu, are raising money for below the belt cancers – including colorectal, testicular, ovarian and uterine cancers.

If the team can raise $5,000 by the Huskie-hosted Canada West Championship on February 24, Coutu will shave off her long brown locks. If the team raises less than that, she will cut her ponytail. She will then donate her hair for a wig. Coutu’s hair currently measures 29 inches or 16 inches in a ponytail.

“For the past five years I have been growing my hair out with the intent on shaving it while fundraising for cancer awareness and research,” said Coutu. “At the beginning of the season, when the team was looking for fundraising ideas, I volunteered to shave my head and lend a boost to our annual run, jump, throw event. We are fundraising to raise awareness of four underfunded ‘below the belt’ cancers. We chose testicular, cervical, ovarian, and colorectal cancer due to their high mortality rate, low funding and low awareness. The money we raise will be going to the Canadian Cancer Society to help further the research efforts for these four cancers.”

To help raise money, the team will take collections at the annual Sled Dog Open January 27-28, as well as host bake sales in the Arts Tunnel and PAC. The bake sales in the PAC will run January 19, 24 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in the Arts tunnel January 19th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At Sled Dog, the Huskies will have a table for fans to help donate by purchasing t-shirts, shoelaces, Huskies Play For A Cure paws, feather jewelry and baked goods. Pledge forms will also be available at the table. Track & Field athletes will also be canvassing the crowd for pocket change.