There have been a lot of highs and lows in Mandi Schwartz’s battle against cancer. The younger sister of St. Louis Blues’ first round draft pick Jaden Schwartz most recently received a crucial stem cell transplant, a surgery she reportedly is recovering from in Seattle.
Consider Friday one of the highs for the resilient former Yale hockey player. Yale university organized a special “White Out for Mandi” rally against RPI, generating more than $9,000 for her cause.
The Yale University women’s hockey team and a record crowd of 1,066 jammed Ingalls Rink to pay tribute to Mandi Schwartz and her incredible two-year battle against cancer during “White Out for Mandi,” on Friday in New Haven, Conn.
“It was really special … there were a ton of former and current students and it was an incredible atmosphere,” Yale junior forward Aleca Hughes told NHL.com. “I was so proud to be associated with such an event for such a special human being. We all admire Mandi and the challenges she’s overcome — it’s just too bad we couldn’t win the hockey game.”
According to Sam Rubin of Yale Sports Publicity, the event raised more than $9,000 for Mandi and her family. Despite the fact Yale suffered a 4-1 loss to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the evening was a huge success as the players and coaches had been planning the “White Out” for weeks. Silent auctions were held for autographed Bobby Orr memorabilia and a jersey from Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Additionally, white T-shirts with Mandi’s number 17 were sold throughout the week and at the game.
The previous high attendance for a Yale women’s hockey home game is believed to be 825, for a playoff game against Princeton in March 2005.
Their opponent RPI also did their part, raising $1,000 for the event. Here are a few more details from the event.
In addition to honoring Mandi with pregame speeches from Yale teammates Alyssa Clarke and Berit Johnson, Yale also introduced the newest member of their team, Giana, a 9-year-old Yale-New Haven Hospital patient the Bulldogs have adopted. Giana, who is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor, dropped the ceremonial first puck after Yale captain Samantha MacLean accepted a check for $1,000 from RPI on Mandi’s behalf. The Engineers held a fund-raiser of their own last weekend.