BOSTON, MA – The Bruins did not practice Monday, but still took the time to participate in the Sixth Annual Cuts for a Cause, hosted by Shawn Thornton and 98.5 The Sports Hub, at Royale Boston.
Twenty-one players were able to take part – the most in the history of the event, emceed by Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Jon Wallach of the ‘Toucher and Rich’ show on 98.5 – to help benefit the Shawn Thornton Foundation, the Boston Bruins Foundation, and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. The sold-out event raised a record $76,000, eclipsing last year’s total of $58,123.15.
Thornton, along with teammates Matt Bartkowski, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton, Nathan Horton, Aaron Johnson, Chris Kelly, Anton Khudobin, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Lane MacDermid, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley, Jay Pandolfo, Tuukka Rask, and Dennis Seidenberg all signed autographs for fans in attendance and had their heads shaved by patients from Tufts Medical Center and others who won bids. The Bruins who couldn't make the event, all donated to the cause. With every 'B' contributing, No. 22 was proud of his teammates to pull together.
“We have the most amount of guys to shave their heads this year, which is huge,” said Thornton, who took over the event from former Bruin Aaron Ward four years ago. “We’ve got a pretty tight team, we always have, but for those guys to step up, it’s huge.
“My teammates have been unbelievable every year, everyone shows up, everyone signed autographs for an hour, they’re going to be here for three or four hours on a day off. It’s not mandatory whatsoever, it’s pretty big of them to do this to raise money for a good cause.
“This year we’re going to raise the most amount of money ever. I’m very happy that it’s a success again and it keeps on getting bigger and bigger.”
Peverley praised Thornton for the continued growth of the event and with being able to have so many of the Bruins players attend.
“A lot of credit goes to Shawn and the Foundation and the Bruins for putting so much time and effort into it,” said the B’s forward. “If we can do anything we can to help, it’s a great charity and I think everybody likes being apart of it.”
Rookie Dougie Hamilton, participating in his first Cuts for a Cause, was enjoying the experience and had some fun with his roommate, Adam McQuaid, who decided to stray away from a mullet this year.
“It’s good for the team to do this together,” said Hamilton, trying to check out his reflection. “I think it’s a lot of fun. Everyone looks pretty different so far, I haven’t been able to see myself, so I don’t know how good I look.
“Quaider definitely looks different; I think he looks good, though. He won’t have to spend so much time in the morning getting his hair ready and we’ll be able to get out of the door quicker.”
McQuaid was happy to take part, saying compared to what some of the children are dealing with, shaving his head was nothing.
“It’s a good experience for us and for them, hopefully to brighten their day a little bit and make us realize how lucky we are,” said the defenseman. “You see the kids go through what they go through and a lot of times have to lose their hair, so it’s pretty easy for us to be able to do this.
“At the end of the day, it’s only hair, it will grow back. Hopefully the money that’s raised will help provide kids with some things to help them along their way.”
Cathy Rosenfield, a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at the Floating Hospital for Children for 26 years, says events like Cuts for a Cause are vital in financing programs for the kids and their families.
“This is a tremendous event because it raises, and it brings in, not only funding for the child life program, but it brings visibility to the program. It’s a crucial part of what we provide for the children and the families while they are going through therapy for cancer,” Rosenfield explained.
“[People] need to know how important it is to the kids,” added Rosenfield. “Some of the kids that are up there are such die-hard Bruins fans, you wouldn’t believe it. So, when they get invited to something like this it means an awful lot to them.”
Thornton did not hesitate when asked what the best part of the day was.
“The kids,” he said with a smile. “Seeing the kids up there when they get to shave our heads – you don’t get to see them while they’re doing it, but afterwards you see the pictures and the smiles.”