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Lightning players set to lose their locks in support of a good cause

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

Several players of the Tampa Bay Lightning will soon trade in their skate blades for razor blades.

Serving as the marquee event of the Third Annual Bright House Networks Cut For A Cure, presented by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Lightning forwards Vincent Lecavalier, Teddy Purcell, Tom Pyatt, Brett Connolly and defensemen Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bergeron will all line the stage of the Pepin Hospitality Centre on Friday, March 30, to shave their heads in support of the battle against cancer.

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, is representative of the players’ commitment to stand behind individual participants, who in some cases are fighting for their lives, and their efforts to go bald.

“It will be great to see everyone come out and show support for such a great cause,” Pyatt said. “The disease that many of these individuals battle is a terrible one, so I’m glad to be a part of it, and anything we as a team can do to help I’m sure will go a long way.”

This season, the efforts of the Lightning players carry added significance and hit a little closer to home, as Bolts assistant coach Wayne Fleming continues to battle brain cancer and has been away from the team since the start of the season. The participating Bolts have dedicated this year’s Cut For A Cure campaign in honor of Fleming, as well as Will Dewhurst.

Nate Thompson receives a haircut as part of Cut for a Cure 2011.
Generally speaking, the funds raised are set to be contributed to medical research, programming and pediatric care for children and their families fighting cancer and blood disorders. To date, the Lightning team has raised $5,394 of the $25,000 goal that was set forth at the beginning of the campaign.

Bolts fans throughout the Bay Area are also encouraged to join in the cause by donating money in support of the Lightning players by logging on to and proceeding to scroll down the page until coming across Team Lightning. By clicking “Support This Team” fans may enter any desirable monetary value and submit their donation. Participants are also advised to help spread the word to friends and family.

While the overall goal of the event is to raise the highest total of funds possible, the night will also speak volumes about the amount of support from members of the community who recognize the struggles the chronically ill individuals have had to endure. In addition, it is sure to provide all in attendance with a chance to kick back, relax and just have fun.

“It’s so important to get involved,” Gervais said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it being a fun evening.”

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