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Pioneers 'Pay it forward'

By David La Vaque, 02/09/12, 8:27AM CST

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Hill-Murray raising funds Saturday to fight breast cancer


Hill-Murray's Zach LaValle, middle, has helped raise thousands of dollars in the fight against breast cancer. Photo by Adam Crane

LaValle

Zach LaValle

Hill-Murray’s boys’ hockey team is once again throwing checks – and cash – into the fight against breast cancer.
 
The team’s “Pay it Forward Pioneer Style” fundraiser takes place Saturday evening at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, before and during a 7:30 p.m. game against North St. Paul.
 
Junior captain Zach LaValle, the event’s coordinator, said his team raised more than $8,000 last year toward the cause.
 
“There were a lot people here that gave their support,” LaValle said. “It was a good time and I think a lot of the guys felt good about what we accomplished.”
 
On Saturday, Hill-Murray skaters will warm up in pink jerseys that will be sold or auctioned off. Pink T-shirts and scarves will be sold at the rink and fans can bid on silent auction items.
 
LaValle said his family has not been impacted by breast cancer but he knows many friends who have not been so fortunate. He has helped organize similar fundraisers for hockey teams he played on in the past.
 
LaValle is second on the team with 45 points. Last fall he quarterbacked the Pioneers' football team to the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament. He makes a similar impact outside of sports.
 
“Zach never ceases to amaze me in terms of how much he genuinely cares for things in life,” Pioneers coach Bill Lechner said. “He’s always looking to help somebody and it’s from the heart. That’s just the way he’s built.”

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