THE Ark Day 2020 campaign got off to a smooth start with an official launch at the home of the Herd.

Ark Day 2020 will raise funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5million appeal to provide supportive care and services, complementary therapies, and an enhanced environment in a NHS cancer treatment centre at Basingstoke hospital.

The charity was the match-night sponsor of the Trane Basingstoke Bison v Swindon Wildcats match at the Basingstoke Arena on Saturday, February 15 – and this proved to be the perfect launch pad for the first big event of the Ark Day 2020 campaign.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity is a Bison community partner and the ice hockey club is an Ark Our Partner corporate supporter. As part of its support, Ark sponsors Basingstoke-born Herd sharp shooter Alex Sampford.

Specially-designed Valentine-themed ice hockey shirts were worn by the Herd and fans on Saturday, and proceeds from sales of the shirts will go into the Ark Day 2020 campaign coffers.

Fans of the Herd also provided generous support at the game, donating a total of £285.94 into collection buckets carried by Ark Cancer Centre Charity supporters at the match.

Ark Day 2020 Organising Committee chairman Andy Jackson, from Champion Group, did the puck drop for Saturday’s game, and Mark Jones, Ark Cancer Centre Charity director of fundraising and communications, presented the man-of-the-match prizes.

Mark said: “It was great to officially launch the Ark Day 2020 campaign at the home of Ark Our Partner supporter Trane Basingstoke Bison.

“Thanks so much to everyone at the Bison for their kind and generous support, and it was great to see the Herd and so many supporters wearing the eye-catching specially-designed shirts.”