Seeing the opportunity to get rid of some things from around the house while raising money for a great cause, Panthers defenseman Steve Montador and the Florida Panthers Booster Club came together for an auction/garage sale at a club meeting on January 21st, to support Right To Play.
The event featured all kinds of Panthers memorabilia, including team autographed jerseys, sticks, signed posters, signed cards, glasses, soda bottles and framed autographed pictures. But the highlight of the night was when Montador spoke about the Right To Play charity that Montador is apart of. Right To Play is an international organization that tries to help educate disadvantaged children through sports.
When the night was over, Montador and the Booster Club had raised over $1,100 for the Right To Play foundation.
“That money, being directed to Right To Play, you know that most of it is going to get put right to where it needs to be most,” said Montador. “And that’s for the kids all around the world that are involved with Right To Play.”
The fundraising event was actually the brainchild of Cheryl LaPalme, the Sports Boosters’ president, who after watching a documentary about Montador’s trip to Tanzania and his work with Right to Play, decided that it would be great for the two sides to hold a fundraiser for the charity. LaPalme approached Montador about the auction/garage sale at the Panthers Kick Off Luncheon back in September.
The fundraising event on the 21st was only the first for Montador and the Booster Club. The two sides are holding another event, Right To Play Night, on February 21st as the Panthers take on the Boston Bruins. Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is also a Right To Play ambassador, and he made the trip to Tanzania with Montador back in July.
There will be various silent auctions and a fifty/fifty raffle before and during the game with the proceeds benefiting Right To Play.
“There’s been a lot of support towards this particular event,” said Montador. “The team has asked the Booster Club to help, and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
Other players and teams throughout the league have been involved in spreading the word on Right To Play and have had various fundraising events this season. The Capitals just held a Right To Play Night on January 15th and raised over $9,000.
“It’s not an official charity of our league, but none-the-less it’s a great organization and there's a lot of players around the league that are involved in it, so it’s great to see that kind of support for such a great organization.”