11 Day Power Play: Buffalo men play hockey to fight cancer, set world record

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A group of Buffalo men are attempting to tackle the unthinkable.

A nonstop charity hockey game raising $1 million dollars for cancer research in Western New York.

40 men, 250 hours, 11 days and $1 million dollars will make up the event. It’s the perfect match-up between fundraising and Buffalo’s love of hockey.

It is the brain child of Co-Founder Mike Lesakowski. He said, “We’re going to play one continuous game. It’s going to go about 251 hours.  The game can never stop. It’s the same two teams of 20 guys playing against each other, and the only time we ever stop is when the Zamboni is on the ice every hour.”

They’re doing it to fight cancer and beat the world record, raising $1 million dollars for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Lesakowski said, “We are determined to make this goal.”

But it takes motivation to conquer such a challenge. For Mike, it’s his wife Amy.

Lesakowski said, “I saw my wife go through cancer treatment, I see my mom go through cancer treatment. It’s hellish, it’s not easy playing hockey is a walk in the park compared to what people have to go through at Roswell.”

Amy, at only 35-years-old and a mother of three, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She said, “The hardest part for me was being a  young mom with three small children and worried about the future.” Having hope helped her through treatment. Now, she wants to pass that on.

She said, “Research is our focus, we want to find a cure.”

Now, team members will give up their jobs, family and perhaps a little bit of their sanity for 11 days. Mike Lesakowski said, “We’re turning the extra locker rooms into dorms, so we’re going to do a little build, out build bunks and things like that, and the guys will live in these locker rooms for these 11 days.”

They’ve been training night and day at all hours for almost a year now. On the ice, and at the gym.

Mike Lesakowski said, “Seeing them together as a team, and busting each others chops, and having fun, it’s been an unbelievable experience.”

Amy Lesakowski said, “Anyone can fight cancer, and a large group of people can make a big difference. A small group of people can too.”

The puck drops on June 22nd. Already almost $600 thousand dollars has been raised for the efforts. You are encouraged to come check out the players in action and cheer them on.  All ticket sales will be donated to cancer research.

To learn more about the 11 Day Power Play and to read about why the team is taking on this challenge, head to their website here.

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