Round Up at the Rink – to Fight Cancer

“Round Up at the Rink – to fight cancer” this October at Van Andel Arena

Donations at concession stands throughout the month to benefit local non-profit  


Grand Rapids - Last October, the SMG staff at Van Andel Arena set out to raise money for a cancer-related non-profit, expanding on Breast Cancer Awareness Month to open up a fundraising opportunity for all types of cancer, and they are following that up with another Round Up in 2018.


For the second consecutive year, fans attending events at SMG-managed Van Andel Arena throughout the month of October will have the opportunity to “Round Up at the Rink – to fight cancer.” Donations will be accepted at concession stands during each event to benefit local non-profit Sparta Relay for Life, a chapter of the American Cancer Society’s lead fundraising campaign.


Sparta Relay for Life was selected as the beneficiary of October’s Round Up at the Rink by SAVOR staff member, Kelli Mucinski, a breast cancer survivor being recognized during the Round Up by SMG, the venue management company that manages Van Andel Arena. In addition to selecting the charity, Kelli is also receiving a night on the town with two tickets to an upcoming concert at Van Andel Arena, dinner at a local Grand Rapids restaurant, and concessions vouchers from SAVOR…Grand Rapids.


Nominated by Concession Manager Dan Tanner, Kelli, a West Michigan native and mother of three, has worked in concessions at Van Andel Arena since 2014 and is excited to be a part of the Round Up at the Rink this October.


“I started walking in the Relay for Life in 2012 after I was fully recuperated from my cancer treatments,” said Mucinski. “I walked 20 miles that day, and during that walk I stopped being angry and made friends with cancer. My relay captain said it best, ‘As long as I am able to, I will walk for those who can't.’”   


SMG will match the total donation up to $1,000 at the end of the month with all proceeds from the Round Up being donated to Sparta Relay for Life in the name of Dean Gust, Van Andel Arena's head ticket taker who lost his battle with cancer in 2015.


Events taking place in October at Van Andel Arena include: Thomas Rhett (October 6), Fleetwood Mac (October 8), Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Hershey Bears (October 12), Elton John (October 15), Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Texas Stars (October 17), Keith Urban (October 19) and Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Chicago Wolves (October 20).


About Relay for Life

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it's time to take action against cancer.


Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don't stop because they're tired, and for one night, neither do they.


Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.


About SMG

SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit