K-Wings’ Orange Ice Halloween celebration benefits cancer research

KALAMAZOO, Michigan (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo Wings celebrated Halloween on the ice on Saturday, hosting their annual Orange Ice contest as they took it on Fort Wayne Komets.

The team did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Seeing a building full of fans after such a long time without being able to do this for so long is a really good feeling,” said John Peterson, director of public relations for the company. K-wings, said. “It gives you chills.

The fans in attendance were also in a festive mood. Many of them came to Wings Event Center in costumes. Max Kortman, 8, came dressed as a hockey goalkeeper.

“I knew we were going to have fun,” said Max, who was sitting in the front row and getting a puck from a K-Wings player.

Max Kortman, 8 years old, smiles for a photo. He went to the K-Wings Orange Ice game dressed as a player. (Oct 30, 2021) K-Wings plays Hockey is a game for everyone on rainbow ice

Adults also dressed up in costumes, including Tom Birkenbach. He is a member of the Kalamazoo Ghostbusters. Founded in 2014, the group attends events dressed as Ghostbusters.

“It’s getting bigger, better and it’s getting heavier,” Birkenbach said of the gadgets that make up his costume.

He said the group enjoys attending events such as the Orange Ice game and interacting with children.

“That’s when a lot of us became fascinated with Ghostbusters,” Birkenbach said. “We want to make sure we pass that on.”

The K-Wings players also showed their Halloween spirit by wearing Ghostbusters themed jerseys.

A K-Wings player wears a Ghostbusters-themed shirt being auctioned off for a good cause. (Oct 30, 2021)

The sweaters will be auctioned, the proceeds of which will benefit the American Cancer Society.

“By having an organization like the K-Wings behind us and donating the proceeds from the jersey auction to us, we can further accelerate our mission to fight cancer head-on,” said Susan Brogger, senior development manager for the American Cancer Society.

Brogger attends an American Cancer Society booth at the K-Wings’ Orange Ice competition on October 30, 2021.

The money raised from the auction will support breast cancer research grants and support programs.

We have support programs such as: Range to Recovery, where breast cancer survivors are matched with newly diagnosed patients to guide them through that process,” Brogger explained.

The K-Wings will wear special jerseys that will be auctioned multiple times this season to benefit nonprofits.

The K-Wings beat the Komets 4-3 Saturday.

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