The men’s ice hockey team at SUNY Cortland sets its sights on winning — in competition and especially in the community. The latter has involved player-organized jersey raffles to support various charitable causes over the past three seasons.
In short, Red Dragon student-athletes wear commemorative jerseys on their community appreciation nights then raffle them off to fans. The first two jersey raffles in 2014 and 2015 netted nearly $10,000 for autism awareness and wounded military veterans. The third, which is currently running through Thursday, Dec. 10, will raise funds for the American Red Cross of Cortland County.
Young alumnus Jeff VanZant, who graduated this past spring, initiated the jersey raffles two years ago with the help of his teammates. He envisioned them as a win-win for the community and the squad, and that’s exactly what they became.
“My teammates and I wanted to drum up some interest and invite local fans to our games,” VanZant said. “Then we thought, ‘Why not do something nice at the same time?'”