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By: Kristen Wooten

Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, announced on Tuesday that they have partnered with Special Olympics, Illinois, for a Star Wars themed 17th Annual Jersey Auction game. The event will take place on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. as the IceHogs take on the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The 2016 jersey theme pays homage to Star Wars with its black base and silver detailing, resembling the infamous Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Goaltender Michael Leighton and Head Coach Ted Dent, along with Deborah Kelly, Special Olympics Illinois Director Area 1, were on site for the unveiling, which occurred this afternoon.

Immediately after the conclusion of Rockford’s contest with the Checkers on March 20, the team will hold a live auction on the ice surface of the BMO, as fans can bid on the game-worn jerseys. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the IceHogs Charitable Foundation. In turn, the IceHogs Charitable Foundation will donate a portion of the jersey proceeds to Special Olympics, as well as other local charities.

Fans are encouraged to show their support of the cause by blacking out the BMO for the March 20th contest. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to take pictures with some of their favorite Star Wars characters, courtesy of 501st Legion.

Totaling $79,921, last year’s jersey auction raised the highest amount of money in the past 16 seasons, bringing the combined total to $809,241. The money collected was then donated to a variety of local charities in the Rockford area.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face. Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 22,000 athletes, more than 20,000 Young Athletes, 45,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 Area programs in all 102 counties of the state.

Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics is financially sound with diverse revenue streams, a thorough annual budget process and increasing organizational revenue streams. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.


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