Nashville, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators Foundation is proud to announce the renaming of the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. The new branding of the fund, spearheaded by the generosity of Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, will continue to raise money for the Preds annual donation to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“Pekka and I have been talking about this for awhile, and knowing that we are going to be in Nashville for a long time, we wanted to give back to the community on a bigger level,” Weber said. “We are in a unique situation where we can help, and are thankful to brighten up the lives of kids going through some of their toughest days. It really puts things in perspective for us.”
As part of the new 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, Weber and Rinne have purchased two suites at Bridgestone Arena that will undergo renovations during the summer to form one large suite that can accommodate up to thirty children and families. For the majority of Preds home games, patients and families from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will be guests of Weber and Rinne in their 365 Fund suite. On a few designated nights, the suite will be auctioned off to raise additional money for the fund.
“Not only is this something we care a great deal about, but partnering with Vanderbilt and the Predators Foundation for a cause that brings joy to the faces of kids and parents, really makes us happy,” Rinne said. “If we can do anything that makes a positive impact on their day, then we have accomplished what we set out to do.”
The Nashville Predators game today, a special 2 p.m. matinee against the Winnipeg Jets, is recognized as one of the team’s two Hockey Fights Cancer games. Hockey Fights Cancer is a joint initiative created by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association that honors those in the hockey community who have struggled or continue to struggle with the disease. The goal of Hockey Fights Cancer is to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.
“Shea and Pekka are leaders on the ice, but also in the community,” Nashville Predators President/COO Sean Henry said. “They saw it as their responsibility to harness the popularity of the Preds and the attention they draw in the community to bring smiles to faces at the Children’s Hospital. By using their combined power to form the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, they’re helping make cancer a word of the past.”
In addition to the new partnership with Weber and Rinne, two local businesses have joined the fight against cancer through contributions to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. At the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Downtown Nissan pledged a donation of $100 to every goal the Preds scored during the season. During the month of April, all 14 local Jack in the Box restaurants will display 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund yard signs and counter cards, encouraging patrons to add a donation of one or five dollars to their bill.
About the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund
The Nashville Predators raise money annually for the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund (formerly the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Fund), established in 2010, through Hockey Fights Cancer games, silent and blind auctions, mystery pucks, fan donations and more. In June 2013, more than $130,000 was given to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Through the fund, the Nashville Predators have made donations totaling more than $700,000 for the hospital and its programs over the past five years.