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11 Day Power Play

Marty Brannigan

Marty Brannigan

This June 23rd at high noon, for the 6th straight year, I will be proud to lace up the skates and don the equipment with my teammates, The Friday Night Hockey Guys, to help the fight against cancer. We will be playing hockey for a three-hour shift as part of a single game that will continue for 11 straight days at The Harbor Center, here in Buffalo, New York.

The 11 Day Power Play has raised over 10 million dollars over the last 7 years and my teammates and I are proud to be a part of it again this year.

This skate means a lot to me for three big reasons – and it relates to my goofy profile picture:

1. When I’m not on the ice, I’m usually still enjoying it, but it’s usually in a frozen concoction as a member of the Western New York Parrot Head Club, one of over 225 officially sanctioned Jimmy Buffett fan clubs. Our charitable organization’s motto is “Party with a Purpose” – which means that we’re a social club that has fun, but we also give back to the community. As a group, we’ve cleaned waterways and highways, donated time and effort for all kinds of projects and raised many thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish (one of the charities that this skate benefits) as well as many other charities. So, having fun and raising money for charity? I’m in!

2. When I am on the ice, it’s usually with The Friday Night Hockey Guys. I wasn’t at their very first skate, but a handful of skates later, I joined up as “the baby of the group,” using a baseball mitt for a catching glove, a regular hockey glove for a blocker and some foam couch-cushion padding over shin guards for leg pads. Thanx to the Good Lord, I’m still at it, ‘40 plus’ years down the road - and with slightly better equipment, although I’m no longer considered 'the youngster' anymore. (And yes, for those keeping score at home, I was a toddler when I joined up.) Over the years, I’ve been blessed to have played with the original Friday Night Hockey Guys, their kids and now their kids’ kids! So, we’re playing hockey for charity? I’m in!

3. If you live on this planet, it’s a fact that you know many people who have been touched by this horrible disease. Whatever we can do to help someone fighting this, by gosh, let’s DO IT! Time and money well spent!

This year marks the first year that I’m skating in memory of Jimmy. "Waitress, I need two more boat drinks!"

This year also marks the second time I’m skating in memory of my great friend and brother-in-law, Kris. He was diagnosed a month or so before the 2022 11DPP skate and just 11 weeks after first diagnosis, he was gone.

This year, my sister-in--law Michelle had a similar fate, diagnosis to death in 4 weeks. We need to FIX this system!

There are too many more folks who had the disease that I remember each year, the names are printed on my t-shirt under my equipment and written forever in my heart.

Many of you heard me tell the story from my first year of skating in the 11DPP of the guy from the other team who came up to us as we were waiting to take the ice. None of us knew him at the time, but he had two special patches on his jersey, one patch read that he was a UB cancer doctor, and the other patch read that he was a cancer survivor. He briefly spoke of his battle and thanked us all for skating with (not against) his team and with tears in his eyes, he said “fellas, we skate for those who can’t.” All of us then took the ice with tears in our own eyes and it was a life-moment I’ll never forget. Sadly, he’s not with us this year, but his memory skates with all of us. Sail on, Andy! We’re keeping that dream alive for ya.

The Friday Night Hockey Guys lost a great teammate, Lance, to this horrible disease a few years ago. His words "Marty, keep your a$$ down and your head up!" still skate with me every game I play, even all these years later. Another teammate is continuing his fight as I write this, and I'm proud to say that he'll be skating in the 11 Day again this year!

As a great songwriter once wrote: “Somewhere in my days, I met some friends along the way. Some are here and some are gone…I guess that love is undefined.”

For those hockey guys, their kids and their kids’ kids – for all my friends and family, past and present, here and gone – for that love that’s undefined - I’m honored to take the ice for a few hours and try to make a difference! Won't you please give us a hand?

Please consider making a donation today. No donation is too small, and every dollar adds up to something greater than any one of us could accomplish alone. (Yeah, I totally stole my teammate Jason’s line, there.) The beneficiaries of your generosity are Make-A-Wish, Camp Good Days and Special Times and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. My personal goal is $1200, but it’s all about team – and really, all about all of us.

Thanks to all of you for all your love and support!


My perspective of the first 11DPP we skated in 2018.

Not a single Landshark has gotten past me yet. (Pucks? Yeah, different story...)


raised of $1,200 goal

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