Thanks to the generosity and passion of Pittsburgh Penguins fans, the team's charity playoff "Beard-a-thon" has been the most successful in the NHL, raising more than $96,000 for the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
Since the start of the Penguins' Stanley Cup Playoff run, fans have been able to participate either by growing playoff beards of their own, or pledging other beards. Photos of many of the Beard-a-thon participants are posted on the Beard-a-thon page at www.pittsburghpenguins.com.
To date, the Penguins have raised $96,708. The Boston Bruins are in second place at $93,659, followed by the Carolina Hurricanes at $55,028, the Washington Capitals at $41,992, the New York Rangers at $28,304, the Chicago Blackhawks at $21,124 and the Detroit Red Wings at $14,870.
"Once again our fans have shown that they are the best fans in the NHL," said Penguins President David Morehouse. "Their generosity, passion and commitment are inspiring to all of us."
Fund-raising and pledges will continue through the Stanley Cup Final.
The Lemieux Foundation funds cancer research and neonatal research. Among its achievements are the creation of the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; the development of Austin's Playroom projects at four area hospitals; endowing a Chair in Pediatric Oncology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; and establishing the Lemieux Family Center at the Children's Home of Pittsburgh.