BOSTON, MA -- The NHL announced today, May 2, that Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has been named a finalist for the 2014 NHL Foundation Award. The NHL Foundation Player Award is awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) player "who applies the core values of (ice) hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community." The other finalists were Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bergeron’s charitable contributions away from TD Garden have been consistent since joining the B's in the 2004-05 campaign. The Bruins Alternate Captain has been involved in countless charitable endeavors over the years, including the development of the Patrice’s Pals program, which brings patients from local hospitals and others children’s organizations to TD Garden to experience a Bruins home game. Children invited to the game watch the Bruins sit in the official Patrice’s Pals luxury suite and meet Bergeron postgame to sign autographs and take pictures.
To date, children from Children's Hospital Boston, the Cam Neely Foundation, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Franciscan Hospital for Children, Joslin Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brother and Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay, Oak Square YMCA, Shriners Hospital, The Jimmy Fund, Home for Little Wanderers, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, among others, have all participated in Patrice's Pals.
Danny Keefe, a Bridgewater first grader, was a guest for Patrice’s Pals earlier this season. Danny, who suffers from a speech impediment, wears a suit, tie, and fedora to school every day. When kids at the school began bullying Danny for his speech impediment along with his choice of clothing, the Bridgewater Peewee Football team decided to stand behind their Water Coach and host a "Danny Appreciation Day". On "Danny Appreciation Day", the entire Peewee Football team wore suits and ties to school to stand in solidarity with their teammate. The Bruins and Bergeron hosted Danny and his teammates to reward and commend the youngsters for their bravery and efforts to stop bullying.
Bergeron also regularly spearheads the Bruins organization's charitable initiatives such as the Holiday Toy Drive, makes personal visits hospitals in the Greater Boston Area, and supports his teammates community efforts as well, like Shawn Thornton's Annual Cuts for a Cause event.
Last year, Bergeron was named the 2013 King Clancy Trophy Winner, which is awarded annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
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