His smiling face always seems to draw a crowd, but can Nathan Horton
’s presence raise money?
This June, the Bruins forward will serve as the 2011 Boston Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) Ambassador in their “Walk with Us to Cure Lupus” walkathon.
The endeavor comes as the Boston Bruins Foundation has partnered with ALR by donating $20,000 to the walkathon, which will take place on Saturday, June 11 at Castle Island in South Boston.
“It’s a scary thing,” Horton said of lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack their body.
“There‘s no cure for it and it’s a range of a lot of things [that] can happen.”
Thursday night, Horton, whose wife had symptoms of lupus during her pregnancy with their son, took part in the Kickoff Reception at the Budweiser Legends Club in TD Garden, where he and about 100 fellow walkers and supporters celebrated the event.
The team captains, along with their families and teammates mingled with Horton and later learned more about the ALR and shared fundraising tips.
“It’s definitely nice,” Horton said of meeting others participating in the event. “It’s tough when you hear about it, but it’s nice to try to help out and do as much as a I can.”
The Boston Walk with Us to Cure Lupus event in a 5k (3.1 miles) walk that is designed to raise significant funds and awareness for the quest for a cure for lupus.
All walkers are encouraged to raise as much money as possible in support of their participation in the walk. Bruins fans can support Horton in the event by texting “WALK” to 85944 to make a $10 donation.
The ALR, founded in 1999 through the vision and commitment of Robert Wood Johnson IV, chairman of the New York Jets, has a fundraising goal of $110,000 this year.
As of Thursday night, they had raised $30,307, according to a fundraising meter on their website.
The Boston Bruins Foundation kicked off their partner ship with ALR by hosting Lupus Awareness Night on March 29 during the Bruins/Blackhawks game, where they presented the ALR with a $20,000 check, becoming the presenting sponsor of the walk.
All the proceeds from that night’s 50/50 raffle benefited the ALR.