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Cam's Champs Raises $12,000 for Special Olympics

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

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When Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward set a personal best for saves in a season this year, one group of Canes fans was cheering the loudest.

For the second year of his Cam’s Champs charity, Ward donated $4 for every save he made to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics of North Carolina – a dollar more per save than he contributed last year.  This season, his 1,690 saves combined with donations from the general public raised a grand total of over $12,500.

Ward presented a check to a group of Special Olympics athletes in the RBC Center locker room on Monday.  The total amount raised exceeded the first year’s totals by over $3,000.

”It makes me feel great,” said Ward.  “You take a look back and you realize that we’re very fortunate to be doing what we’re doing and to have the opportunity to give back.” 

While significant, Ward’s contributions constituted just over half of the total amount.  The rest came from fans like 12-year-old David Bean, who donated over $1,000 of his own money that he earned doing imitations at birthday parties and festivals.

Cam is a really good role model, and I thought to help him in what he’s doing would be really good,” said Bean.

To thank him for his efforts, Ward presented Bean with one of his goalie sticks.  Bean returned the favor by presenting Ward with a homemade Lego depiction of one his fundraising saves.

In addition to the per-save donation, Ward also provided tickets for Special Olympics athletes to home games throughout the season and met with them after games.  He also filmed a public service announcement for the organization earlier this season.

”In such a case of the Special Olympics it’s a huge thrill for myself and something that I take a lot of pride in,” said Ward.  “With that being said, you don’t want to be satisfied with just $12,000.  You want to grow the charity and contribute as much as you can.”

Ward first became involved with the Special Olympics while playing junior hockey for the Red Deer Rebels in western Canada.  His close relationship with one of the team’s trainers, a Special Olympics athlete, led him to continue that involvement once he turned pro.

To learn more about Cam's Champs, visit the SONC Web site.

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