WATERTOWN, MA --
Bruins forward Milan Lucic
took the lead in helping to kick-off the Fifth Annual PJ Drive by visiting Target on Thursday in Watertown, for a meet-and-greet with Bruins fans.
Teaming up with Cradles to Crayons and AT&T, Bruins fans, families, schools and corporations are encouraged to donate new, unused pajamas for underprivileged children statewide throughout the month of February.
“What we try to do in a thing like this is get the fans involved doing something fun and giving back to the community as well,” said Lucic. “It goes hand and hand.”
Fittingly, former Bruin PJ Axelsson originated the PJ Drive and ever since it has been a Black & Gold tradition.
“As players we knew it was such a big thing,” Lucic said. “It helps a good cause so when they asked me [to participate] I was more than willing to do it.”
Although he didn’t get a chance to rock a pair of footy pajamas like 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara
last year, the 6-foot-4 forward did admit that he wouldn’t be shy about showing off whatever was potentially thrown his way.
Josh Nespoli, Community Outreach Manager of Cradles to Crayons, said that their partnership with the Bruins organization is hugely important.
“The Boston Bruins have a really great brand and great following and great fans,” said Nespoli. “They open us to that so to have the Boston Bruins behind Cradles to Crayons is really empowering.”
As fans anxiously waited in line, there was quick chatter amongst one on another on where the perfect spot for the NHLer’s famed signature would go to forever mark their Bruins gear.
Blades, the Bruins mascot, went around interacting and taking pictures with the crowd to keep everyone’s spirits high.
“It’s cool to see the smiles on their faces, and kind of get the interaction with them,” said Lucic of the children. “It teaches them the values of giving back by donating pajamas to this drive and that’s what makes this event so cool and so special.”
Afterwards, "Luch" strolled through a few aisles, and carefully picked out different pajama sets for children of all ages.
Of course his first pick had a sports theme with the saying, “Mom says I’m a real catch” across the front, followed by pajamas with colorful prints of dogs, monkeys, frogs, cupcakes, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
“I think as athletes we are real fortunate to be living our dream," Lucic said. "I think it’s a big part and important part of our roles and to try to be good role models and that’s why the whole Bruins [team] and Bruins Foundation try to do their best in the community.” ---Elisabeth Flynn