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Cuts for a Cause Keeps Growing

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - When the hair was swept away, and the Bruins all donned newly shaved heads, the 7th Annual Cuts for a Cause had raised a record-setting $118,340 for children battling cancer.

Hosted by Shawn Thornton and 98.5 The Sports Hub at Boston Park Plaza Hotel, more than a thousand fans and supporters filtered in to watch as the Bruins and his teammates had their heads shaved for charity.

In its seventh year, the event (first started by former Bruin Aaron Ward) has grown each time, both in numbers and funds raised.

When Cuts for a Cause was first put on by the Bruins in 2008, it raised $25,000. That number had jumped to $76,000 by the time 2013 came around, and went over the 100k mark for the first time in 2014.

All proceeds go towards the Shawn Thornton Foundation, the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

It's a testament to the Boston faithful and supporters around the community.

"I cannot [believe it], I cannot. It's huge, there's a thousand people here today," said Thornton, who has taken the event under his wing through the years, with his teammates' participation making it possible. "To take a step back and look at it, it's a little surreal to have this much support."

"But it's awesome, it's for a great cause and with all of my teammates, everybody's happy to do it, so I'm happy it's going well."

"The team's great, everybody in the room always all in. Around the community, it surprises me how many people keep coming. We had to change venues because it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and I hope that trend continues."

When Thornton first stepped on the stage to get his head shaved, he was joined by young Maggie, a patient of Tufts Medical Center. Thornton is her favorite Bruin, and the two friends have known each other for some time. It was a surprise for Maggie that day, when she found out she would be the one to do the honors of shaving his head. Her smile was the epitome of what the event is all about.

"Just to come out and help Shawn out with his Foundation and especially the kids, it's great," said Dennis Seidenberg, who may not be with the team much these days, but obviously jumped at the chance to support the cause.

"For us, and like every year, Shawn is doing a great job, as well as the Boston Bruins Foundation, to do this event and it's just a great, meeting the fans and all of the people."

Seidenberg and Jarome Iginla didn't end up with dramatic cuts, but the event leads way for some fun amongst the group, as well, with Bruins like Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug chopping their long locks.

"It feels good, it was a fun day, and I was kind of waiting for this day a little bit so it's fun," said Hamilton, who was growing out his hair for the day.

"For us to be able to raise money and support them, and get our heads shaved like them, it's a good feeling for us, so just to be able to support them, it's credit to Thorty for putting this on and doing this so well."

Hamilton's "hairdresser" was young Georgia from Tufts, and she decided to cut his hair into a mohawk before shaving it all off.

"I told her just to have fun and she decided that," laughed Hamilton.

While most don't usually sport the shaved look on a daily basis, they know that their show of support for the kids goes far beyond their head of hair.

"I said to some of the new guys, that after you shave it, you start growing it just until the next year comes around, that it's an annual thing, you get used to it," said Adam McQuaid, who sported the mullet look in years past, a look that would take on a life of its own, especially as the Bruins began their march to the 2011 Cup.

"It's only hair, it grows back and I think everyone realizes that, and the money that it goes towards, it's a very serious thing and any time we can help out in any way we can, we're more than happy to."

Cuts for a Cause has not only become an event that the team rallies around; it's become a part of their routine prior to the postseason, usually taking place just weeks before the playoffs begin.

"Every year it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. We're raising more money and more awareness, so it's a fun thing that pretty well everyone takes part it in," said McQuaid. "We all show up at the rink the next day and have to take double-takes to figure out who's who, but it's a team thing and it brings everyone together coming into the stretch run and before the playoffs, it's just another team building event."

From the looks of it, it's an event that will be in the team's future for some time, bringing all of them, and the community, closer together.

"I'm one of the original guys that has been a part of this ever since I was a rookie and to see it grow into what it's become today is really great," said Milan Lucic. "And I thank all of the fans and supporters for making it what it is today."

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