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Over 300 Hats Collected to Benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Over three hundred hats and blankets were collected during Brian Savage's Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Night during Flyers win over Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Wachovia Center.

Flyers fans were encouraged to donate new hats and new blankets to be donated to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System and Fox Chase Cancer Center for their oncology patients on behalf of the Flyers, Brian Savage and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Upon donation, fans could enter to win a special "Flyers Experience with Brian Savage."

Loralyn Franke or Fort Meyers, Florida won the "Flyers Experience with Brian Savage," a private practice session and lunch with Savage at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ at a mutually agreed upon date. Franke and her boyfriend Rob Skinner collectively donated 32 items at the game. In town for the weekend, Franke and Skinner attended the Phantoms vs. Albany game on Friday night, the Flyers vs. Ottawa game tonight and are attending the 29th Annual Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival on Sunday, March 26 at Wachovia Center.

"I work at a hospice group and I've worked with children with cancer so it was a no-brainer that I'd contribute tonight," said Franke. "I've been a Flyers fan for years now and I've never won anything in my life. Meeting Brian Savage will be an experience I'll never forget."

In addition, 14-year old Danielle Rodgers from Springfield, PA was recognized as the Flyers Community Teammate for her commitment in raising over $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The "Flyers Community Teammate" program, sponsored by Clear Channel, was developed to recognize an individual or group for their positive contributions to the local community.

Savage has a special connection to Leukemia. In April 2003, his 9-year old niece, Megan, lost her three-year battle with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Brian witnessed her slow decline and the tremendous affect it had on his brother Dave, sister-in-law Kim and their other children, Cameron and Kristin. Megan endured countless chemotherapy treatments and a bone marrow transplant. "Megan will always hold a special place in my heart along with all the other brave children who are fighting this vicious disease," said Savage.

Family is very important to Brian and his wife Debbie who have two young boys, Ryan and Redmond. The Savages have established the Megan's Wings Foundation in their hometown of Sudbury, Ontario, to help children with cancer. In April 2005, the couple ran the Nashville 26.2 mile Country Music Marathon and raised over $30,000 in pledge money.

On Monday, March 20, as part of the Flyers "Hat Trick For Kids" program, Savage donated hats and blankets along with other Flyers goodies to the children at the Oncology Unit of St. Christopher's Hospital For Children. This program was developed to recognize and show support of children battling cancer in oncology units of local Delaware Valley hospitals.
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