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October Saves rewards good performances with charity pledges

October Saves rewards good performances with charity pledges

Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts on October 1st – and this year, a phenomenal new initiative is kicking off across the United States to raise money for research.

It started in Ashburn, Virginia, in 2014, when Ashburn Xtreme Goalie Coach and owner of Tactical Goalie Dan Keyes came up with October Saves.

The concept was simple. Each goaltender under his tutelage would gather pledges from friends, family, and fans, based on saves made throughout the month of October.

Participants could pledge as much or as little as they wanted per save made by the goaltender they were sponsoring. At the end of the month, they would make a donation to cancer research organization Lara’s League, run by a local mom of a pair of Keyes’ goaltenders.

Since that first year, the initiative has exploded. It went from Ashburn Xtreme to the Howard Huskies in 2015 – and after goaltending coach Mitch Korn presented the Pink Brick Wall trophy in 2015 (given to the goalie able to raise the most funds through his or her performance and pledges), things took off even more. 2016 saw October Saves expand to include the entire Chesapeake Bay Hockey League, raising $100,000 through pledges for 185 different goaltenders, and this year will see goaltenders across the United States able to participate.

All the proceeds go to pediatric and women’s cancer research, while the goaltenders who participate have chances to win new Vaughn gear (including a custom painted mask).

It’s a phenomenal program, and it’s making waves for a good reason. From The Goalie Guild jumping on board as a benefactor to Korn’s endorsement of the program, there’s plenty of exposure for the initiative as it works to create a nationwide movement.

There’s even an NHLer getting on board.

Jake Allen of the St. Louis Blues registered himself as a goaltender to sponsor, then went above and beyond. He’s pledged to donate $10.00 to October Saves for every save made by both himself AND his backup, Carter Hutton – ensuring that no matter what happens in St. Louis this month, there’s money headed for cancer research:

He isn’t alone, either.

Braden Holtby, one of Korn’s own disciples, has hopped on board as well, and he’s already gotten $250 in flat donations before the month even begins.

Philipp Grubauer has also signed up, ensuring that all of the saves made in Washington this month will go on the board as well.

Money On The Board campaigns have become a popular way to pledge money through sports in the last few years, but an all-goaltender one is particularly special. Hopefully, they’ll be able to fly past the $100,000 mark they hit last season – and as the initiative grows in popularity, hopefully it will gain the support of more and more goaltenders each year.

For more information, check out the official October Saves website, and make sure to give them a follow on Twitter. The organization will track each goaltender’s progress both on the website and on banners hung in their respective rinks, looking to see who manages to block and stop their way to the biggest save of all – a hopeful cure for cancer.

About The Author

Cat Silverman

Catherine is the first American in a long line of Canadians, making her the black sheep before she even decided she wasn't going to be a Leafs fan. Writer for Today's Slapshot, InGoal Magazine, and, coach in the Arizona Coyotes Department of Hockey Development. Goalies are not voodoo.

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