On Friday, May 16th the Boston Bruins Foundation held the First Annual Boston Bruins Ice & Dice Casino Night at VFW Hall in Abington.
"This was our first fundraiser of the year for the PMC," said Bob Sweeney, Director of Development for the Boston Bruins Foundation. "It was a great success and we raised over $20,000."
Boston Bruins alumni Terry O'Reilly, Bob Sweeney, Tim Sweeney, Frank Simonetti and Gary Doak all took part in an evening to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation PMC Bike Team riding in the two-day Pan Mass Challenge (PMC).
The evening featured live auctions, silent auctions, raffles and a chance to mingle with Taz and the rest of the Bruins alumni.
"Alex Bezanson from BTA Development Corp. basically came up with the idea -- he wanted to do a casino night in his area of Abington."
Alex and his family are deeply committed to the cause of the PMC and the Boston Bruins Bike Team.
"His sister Linda has cancer and she's an incredible inspiration," said Sweeney. "Linda's been battling cancer for many years and was basically given no chance to live.
"As Alex said, she probably shouldn't be here tonight but for her incredible will power and determination.
"She's been helping out here tonight, doing an incredible job, and she looks great," he said.
People like Linda are the reason why the Boston Bruins Foundation puts so much effort into the PMC.
"A big reason why a lot of us do the PMC is for people like Linda," said Sweeney. "She just shows you that no matter what people tell you…as long as you have that fight in you -- never give up -- it can be mind over matter.
"The Bezanson's have been at almost all of our PMC functions, they're season ticket holders for the Bruins.
"So, for us, on a Foundation standpoint, it was great for us to be able to do an event with someone who has a community's support," he said.
The Boston Bruins Foundation PMC Bike Team features 25 riders participating in the two-day 190-mile bike ride throughout Massachusetts.
Members of the team include O'Reilly, as well as former Bruins Rick Middleton, Bob Sweeney, and Don Sweeney. Other teammates include Kim Jacobs, wife of Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs, Bruins Vice President of Business Operations Dan Zimmer, and Promotions Manager Brian Hayes.
You can read more about the team here
. A photo gallery from last year's ride is here
The people of Abington and the Bezanson family and friends really put their backs into the Ice & Dice project and raised lots of money for an important cause.
"We lent some office support, some staffing and some auction items, but I can't say enough about Alex and Linda's family," said Sweeney. "The way they organized the night was great.
"The money they raised Friday, in my time being associated with the PMC and for a satellite event supporting the big event, was the highest grossing revenue night."
Since its inception in 2006, the Boston Bruins Foundation PMC Bike Team has raised over $280,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute.