The Utica Comets have had nine successful theme nights in their three plus years of existence. From Pink the Rink to Military to St. Patrick’s Day, the jerseys have always wowed the crowd and successfully generated revenue for the Save of the Day Foundation to then donate to a worthy cause. This Saturday, the Comets will hit the ice in their first ever Save of the Day jerseys that have already made quite the impression on not only the Mohawk Valley, but also the hockey world as a whole.
On Monday, the Comets released a jersey reveal video, showcasing the black “U” jerseys with bright green and grey accents. And following on the heels of that release came a video showcasing goaltender Thatcher Demko’s custom helmet, featuring the same color scheme, the Save of the Day bull, and children’s stick figure drawings. Both the jersey and helmet received rave reviews, with the jersey reveal video receiving over 24,000 views in less than 24 hours. Fox Sports and Yahoo have already picked up the unique design, as it spreads throughout the hockey community worldwide.
When formulating ideas for the first ever Save of the Day night, Comets President Robert Esche wanted to create a jersey that was nothing like those done in the past. “Our goal is to raise as much money as possible for the Foundation, so I wanted to design something that would wow everyone and be a once in a lifetime piece to own,” Esche explained. So he went to Comets Creative Director Eric Kowiatek and passed along his vision. “The whole idea with this project was to do something bold and unique – something that would really grab everyone’s attention,” said Kowiatek. “With this design, and all the corresponding components around it, I believe we accomplished our goal.”
The specialty jerseys will be split into two groups – with half raffled off during the game and half auctioned off live in the “Save of the Day ‘Suit Up’” event for those in attendance. The live auction will give fans the opportunity to not only take home the jersey, but the helmet, gloves, pant shell, and socks as well. The auction will culminate with the chance to bid to win Thatcher Demko’s helmet. Proceeds from the raffle and auction will go to the Save of the Day Foundation, which will in turn donate the sum from the evening to the Thea Bowman House, a non for profit located in Utica that helps improve the lives of local disadvantaged and culturally diverse children. Kevin Lojewski, President of the Foundation, added, “The benefactors from the money raised are the children from the Thea Bowman House. Children in need are exactly what was intended when the foundation began its journey 14 years ago.”
Created 14 years ago, the Rob Esche Save of the Day Foundation initially began with a main initiative of helping children with life threatening illnesses in the Mohawk Valley. In conjunction with the start of the Utica Comets, the Foundation has evolved to encompass all 501(c)3 charities in the Mohawk Valley that are in need of contributions. And as Save of the Day begins its 15th year, Esche and his board members are looking to elevate the Foundation on a new scale. “We want 2017 to be a year where the Foundation enters a natural rebrand and touches even more people in our community,” he said. “We know what we’ve done in the past, but we’re more focused now on what we can do in the future.”
For more information on the logistics regarding Save of the Day night, please visit uticacomets.com; if you wish to donate to Save of the Day, please visit sodfoundation.com; and for more information on the Thea Bowman house, please visit theabowmanhouse.org.