Crushing Cancer with the Chatham Cougars


Infographic Credit: Union Fitness

Josie Barton

Chatham Women’s Ice Hockey competed against Alvernia University while the men faced off against Fredonia at the Hunt Armory Ice Rink on Jan. 27. In honor of Joe Mozaruk, who recently passed away from cancer, Union Fitness donated a total of $250 to the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

General Manager of Union Fitness and close friend of Mozaruk, Todd Hammer, wanted to honor Mozaruk’s wife’s request to spread the word about the Mario Lemieux foundation which helps fund cancer research and patient care in the Pittsburgh region and beyond.

“[Mozaruk] was a big hockey fan and actually played hockey until about two weeks prior to his death,” Hammer said.

Union Fitness pledged to donate $50 for every goal scored by Chatham’s women’s and men’s hockey teams. Additional donations were taken on-site from Chatham’s basketball, volleyball and soccer teams as well as student-athletes and coaches, totaling a $250 donation to the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

“One thing we’re always looking to have is community engagement (and) community involvement with nonprofits, so we worked with multiple organizations,” Hammer said. “We’re always looking to basically do the right thing and find ways to help different organizations in the city.”

Union Fitness is actively involved in community events, totaling three nonprofit donation events this month. 

“After… over 20 years of doing these kinds of things, I generally don’t have…any set goal,” Hammer said. “It’s more so to raise awareness and raise some money.”

Personal and college athletic trainer Charles (CJ) Jasper, is the head trainer for Chatham’s hockey programs as well as holds a personal connection with the players he trains. Jasper was a strength coach at Robert Morris University, where he met men’s hockey coach Michael Gershon.

 Head Athletic Trainer at Chatham Samantha Powell also had a close relationship with Hammer before earning her title, so their relationship flourished after she joined Chatham’s athletic program.

“(Those relationships) helped everything grow,” Hammer added. “(They) gave us that opportunity to build that relationship and without hockey… we wouldn’t be successful at Chatham and we wouldn’t be able to offer our services at Chatham. They’ve really helped us push that relationship.”

Hammer plans to hold more nonprofit events in the future and encourages anyone to donate to the Mario Lemieux foundation at and to continue to suggest donation ideas to his email [email protected]

“As students at Chatham come up with ideas, tell us and we’ll make it happen,” Hammer said.