When fans come to tonight’s Tampa Bay Lightning game at the St. Pete Times Forum they may be delightfully surprised to see seven Bolts players donning fresh new hairdos. Their new style is not part of some new playoff tradition, but instead, it is an effort by the players to raise funds to find a much-needed cure for childhood cancer.
As an integral part of the 2nd Annual Bright House Networks Cut for a Cure, presented by Carrabba's Italian Grill, Lightning players Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Nate Thompson, Teddy Purcell, Victor Hedman, Ryan Malone and Mike Smith all lined the stage at the Pepin Distributing Centre Thursday night and shaved their heads in front of a crowd of family and friends. The setting was perfect for the several hundred guests that were in attendance in support of the cause.
The evening, which is a part of an ongoing fundraising campaign to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at All Children’s Hospital, served as the signature event in the money-raising campaign. All along, the idea behind the event has been to stand behind individual participants and their efforts to go bald. As such, each individual player created a pledge page, which features a ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot, where contributions can be made towards the fundraising goals.
Each player’s individual pages also share intimate details of those they know that have been affected by cancer and also the several reasons why they find their involvement with the event so critical. Their words offer a chilling reminder of why it is so important to benefit such as worthy cause.
All the funds raised go to medical research, programming and pediatric care for children and families battling cancer and blood disorders. To date, the event has raised $165,000 of the $230,000 goal that was set forth at the beginning of the campaign.
The evening wasn’t just about collecting money, though. The night was also about showing support for the struggles that the kids have had to endure throughout their childhood. Not only that, it offered a chance for a few children who have battled or, are currently dealing with cancer, the opportunity to kick back, relax and just have fun.
Of the many things that the kids enjoyed at the event, the most memorable may have been the opportunity, with the assistance of professionally trained hair stylist, to help shave the players’ heads. Some even took it upon themselves to rouse quite a few laughs from the crowd by creating fun, whacky and even bizarre hairstyles. Needless to say, it was certainly a memorable interaction with the star Bolts players.
Although the highly anticipated ‘cut’ has come and passed, the opportunity to contribute towards each player’s individual fundraising goal and the tremendous cause still remains. Funds for each individual, and the event, are still being accepted until May 6th at http://www.fastercure.org/events/cutforacure.htm.
Don’t miss your opportunity to go All In for this cause by supporting the cleanly shaven Lightning players.