HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- It was a great turnout tonight at Propst Arena for the Melissa George Night with the Huntsville Havoc.
Tonight, the tough guys on ice were not only skating for honor, but also for premature infants that are fighting for life in Huntsville Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund is named in memory of the daughter of former Huntsville Channel Cats and Huntsville Tornado hockey player, Chris George, and his wife, Amy, former WHNT News 19 anchor. Melissa and her twin sister, Ann Catherine, were born 14 weeks early in 2005, both of them weighing less than two pounds. Melissa passed away shortly after birth, and Ann Catherine spent the first 68 days of her life in the NICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.
"It is such a special evening for us," said Amy George. "We started this seven years ago and the Havoc came to us with the idea. We never though in our wildest dreams that in seven years, this event would raise a quarter of a million dollars, but that's what we've been able to do."
Proceeds from the event will go to the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation to purchase a Giraffe Warmer. The event also had a live auction of team equipment and special Melissa George Fund Havoc jerseys the players will wore during the game.
This year's "Melissa George Night" brought in over $42,000 for Melissa's fund. Over the past five years, the auctions have raised more than $256,500 allowing the Huntsville Hospital Foundation to provide cutting-edge equipment for the NICU.
In just seven years, the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund has raised more than $1.6 million for the NICU. Proceeds raised through Melissa’s fund are used to purchase lifesaving equipment and to provide support for families of premature infants. For more information, please visit www.huntsvillehospital.org/foundation/melissageorgefund.