SOUTH BEND, Ind (WNDU) - The 525 Foundation works tirelessly to spread the word about the dangers of opioid misuse and underage drinking.
Notre Dame sophomore forward Graham Slagger designed these jerseys to honor Nick and Jack Savage during the Irish game against Minnesota.
16 News Now learned why Notre Dame hockey is teaming up with 525 in its mission to save lives.
The Irish will be wearing sweaters that are a little different on Saturday night to raise money and awareness for 525 Foundation.
It is also an opportunity for one Irish player to honor Jack and Nick Savage, two late friends and teammates. Graham Slaggert is the only member of the Irish hockey team who grew up in South Bend, making him the only one to also share a bench with Jack Savage.
“We always reminisce about the old times we shared. Jack and I won some championships together here with the I.Y.H.L and the Irish Rovers, and there are people we've known since the beginning of our time playing hockey here,” Slaggert said.
Slaggert helped design the special sweaters the Irish will wear Saturday night in an effort to raise awareness for a nationwide epidemic that took the lives of his two friends.
“This is one that has a little bit of a different meaning for me, too, just having a personal connection with the family, and it with being local and in South Bend, I think it was natural for us to partner with them and do something for such a good cause,” Slaggert said.
“I think Graham, it's just something he's had in the back of his mind for a while and it was something he felt very passionate about,” said 525 Foundation founder and mother of Jack and Nick Savage, Becky Savage.
Becky Savage remembers the days when her boys and Slaggert shared the ice. Now the whole Irish hockey team will wear sweaters inspired by the ones worn by Jack, Nick and Graham while they were on the Irish Rovers.
“It just makes my heart smile thinking about it, because growing up in South Bend, every kid, their dream is to skate and play at the University of Notre Dame. And for us it's like their dream is coming true,” Savage said.
After the game, the university will auction off the game-worn jerseys with those proceeds going directly to the 525 Foundation.