The Arizona Coyotes will posthumously induct Leighton Accardo into the team's Ring of Honor on Saturday, making her the first person who wasn't a player, coach, general manager or broadcaster to receive the distinction.
Accardo died in November at age nine after being diagnosed with cancer. Her family will be present at the pregame ceremony, and the team will wear special warm-up jerseys designed to honor the Coyotes fan. The sweaters will be auctioned off, and all proceeds will support the Leighton Accardo Scholarship Fund to help provide access for girls who want to play hockey in Arizona.
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Leighton's legacy will live on forever. In 2021, we introduced "Little Leightons," a program for girls 5-9 to learn how to play hockey. All girls wear yellow for childhood cancer awareness and #49 to remember to always "skate hard, have fun." 💛🎗️ https://t.co/3h6yEK0uaj
Coyotes president Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a statement:
"Leighton was a very special person, and we were all inspired by her incredible strength, courage, positivity, and passion for life. Leighton loved the game of hockey and she had an incredible impact on our entire organization and the Arizona hockey community. We are honored to carry on her legacy and preserve her memory by inducting her into our Ring of Honor. Leighton will forever be a part of our Pack."
The Coyotes have raised $75,000 for the scholarship fund as their efforts to honor Accardo continue.