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Buffalo Athletics unveils commemorative Jeff Parker hat to assist in cancer research

By Paul Vecchio Univ. of Buffalo | Nov. 04, 2010, 4:55 p.m. (ET)

BUFFALO, NY -- The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics, in conjunction with the creativity and benevolence of the New Era Cap Co., has created a UB hat that honors the legacy of former UB wrestler Jeff Parker, who tragically lost his fight against cancer this past May.

The Limited Edition Jeff Parker UB 5950 hat will be available for pre-order starting today on UB's website with all net proceeds from sales going to the Jeff Parker Foundation and cancer research.

A limited edition of 1,000 hats are available for pre-order and will be shipped in early January. A link to the item can be found here:

The cap is made of 100% wool with a royal blue crown and visor, and features a purple satin lining and custom purple embroidery, authentic Jeff Parker silhouette on the side and "JDP" initials on the back with the word "Hope" intertwined.

Parker, UB Class of '08, was a former UB wrestling captain and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Vice-President who inspired everyone he met in both his native Boston, MA and in Buffalo with his tireless work ethic, gregarious spirit and love of both wrestling and the University at Buffalo.

Parker earned the Male "Ideal Bull" Award upon completion of his career and was an outstanding student-athlete who proudly wore the Blue and White. An Academic All-MAC selection and SUNY Chancellor award winner, he won 73 matches for the Bulls while competing from 2005-08.

He was originally diagnosed with skin cancer in the Spring of 2009, and similar to his wrestling career, fought the disease with enduring passion before succumbing on May 22, 2010.

The UB Division of Athletics wishes to extend sincere thanks to New Era for the generous donation of the first 500 hats as well as their vision to honor one of UB's finest. Steve Maciejewski, a former UB track and field athlete who served on the SAAC board with Jeff, was instrumental in both the creation and the donation of the hat by New Era.

"Being a student athlete at The University at Buffalo meant the world to me" said Maciejewski, the Project Coordinator for College Strategic Business. "I feel it is only right to express my gratitude through New Era and have this awesome concept and idea available to everyone who knew Jeff and support his cause.

"This project means so much to me because it was an idea that I tackled as soon as I started my job" Maciejewski said. "Being able to pair with different designers, managers, and finally our CEO Chris Koch to put this project together gave me insight about how our business works and how especially generous they are. I am so grateful that New Era has taken this idea in with open arms and has backed it 100%. It truly shows why they have been around for as long as they have and why their better days are still ahead."