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11 Day Power Play raises $1.1 M for cancer research

Coronavirus restrictions made it impossible for organizers to have an ice hockey event at HarborCenter, so this year participants played floor hockey at RiverWorks.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Even though the 11 Day Power Play was a little different this year, the event was able to raise $1.1 million for cancer research and wellness programs in Western New York.

Coronavirus restrictions made it impossible for organizers to have an ice hockey event at HarborCenter, so this year participants played floor hockey at RiverWorks. 

No spectators were allowed, but founders Mike and Amy Lesakowski live streamed the event every night for 12 nights. Talking to everyone from players about why they play, to people from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Camp Good Days, Make-A-Wish and Oishei Children's Hospital about where the funds raised will be used, and how important every dollar is.

“Every year, it’s important for us to raise awareness, and through our live stream we'll be able to bring the 11 Day Power Play to people at home,” Amy Lesakowski said.

“That will allow us to connect with really more people than we've ever been able to. Cancer awareness in our community is really important, and what our beneficiaries do for our community is important to share.”

All proceeds benefit the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Make-A-Wish WNY, Camp Good Days, and Roswell Park Oishei Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Program. The money will support immunotherapy research for cancer patients and those with compromised immune systems.  

Since the event started in 2017, the 11 Day Power Play has raised more than $5 million to fight cancer.