Marist students raise charity for hockey player’s battle with cancer

Have you ever wanted to hear random funny pop-culture references at a hockey game? Well, you’re in luck. Seniors Matt McNamara and Casey Bryant have created The Marist Moller Calls for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, an idea that started around last year in the fall that has since garnered much attention. It’s an idea that was inspired by Austin King, a forward on the hockey team who missed his entire season while fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his sophomore year.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare form of cancer that attacks the body’s lymphatic system, a vital component of the body’s immune system. Having a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is extremely difficult given that it makes it harder for the body to fight off infections and decreases stamina, and is even more so difficult for someone who’s entire sport demands an enormous amount of stamina. However, despite these bleak odds Austin managed to get back into the game, and was met with a tremendous amount of support not only from his fellow teammates and the Marist community but also from Casey and Matt’s groundbreaking idea.

The idea came to Casey while he was thinking of ways to spice up a broadcast one night while he was in class. He and Matt decided to take Randy Moller’s idea and monetize it- for every suggestion they received from the audience they would donate a dollar of their own money to the Lymphoma Research Organization. According to Casey, “we wanted people to feel free to submit without a monetary aspect tied to it in hopes of maximizing participation. It worked.”

Since then they have raised $150 in suggestions from all over the country; they rolled in from states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. It’s become so popular that they even caught the attention of Randy Moller himself, who made a donation to their charity from word-of-mouth. “It’s a small monetary donation, but really it’s the effort and the thought that counts,” said Casey. “People are willing to support not only a couple of college kids in their broadcasting efforts, but also a great cause and a club hockey team of a small school in Poughkeepsie.” “It’s something really special,” Matt chimed in. “I couldn’t be more excited that it’s reached this point.”

So far the two have raised $25 now that the season has started. It may not seem like much but the two are working very hard at raising even more money than they did last year, as well as the general mood. According to Casey, the team has experienced an increase in morale when the two began this charity. “As soon as we started the charity, they [the Marist hockey team] started scoring 5.5 goals per game which is insane,” said Casey. “They went on a crazy home win streak. It was meant to be!”

For more information on Casey and Matt’s charity, you can find their organization here.

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