Nashville, Tenn. (September 9, 2014) – In March, the Predators Foundation announced the formation of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, spearheaded by the leadership and generosity of Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne. The 365 Fund raises money for an annual donation to help fund pediatric cancer research at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“Shea and Pekka are leaders not only 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. Now, the best fans in sports, our Loyal Legion, have a chance to join with Shea and Pekka in fighting this horrible disease by contributing to the 365 Fund and getting involved with the Preds regular Hockey Fights Cancer initiatives starting with the ‘bucket brigade’ at the preseason game on Sept. 27.”
On Wednesday afternoon, both Weber and Rinne will present Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with the first check from the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, totaling $318,242.90 in cash and in-kind donations, the largest donation the Preds have ever given to Children’s Hospital. This donation elevates the Preds total donation to Children’s Hospital to more than $800,000 in the last five years.
“Pekka and I have been talking about this for awhile and 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.”
In addition to Weber and Rinne’s generosity, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, based company, Dollar General, has contributed funds towards the fight against pediatric cancer. Dollar General will become the presenting partner of the program starting in the 2014-15 season.
As part of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General, Weber and Rinne purchased two suites at Bridgestone Arena that were renovated this summer into one large suite that can accommodate up to 30 children and families. For the majority of Preds home games, patients and families from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will be guests of Weber and Rinne in the 365 Fund suite. A night at the suite includes food and beverages, Xbox games, knee hockey with a real goal light and 365 Fund t-shirts. On a few designated nights, the suite will be auctioned off and 100 percent of the money raised will go to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General.
“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. Through some fun and interactive programs, there is no limit to the funds we can raise for such a worthy cause.”
Throughout the 2014-15 season, Weber and Rinne will join forces with the Nashville Predators Foundation to continue raising money for the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General through Hockey Fights Cancer nights (Nov. 15 vs. Winnipeg, March 7 vs. Winnipeg), special auctions and more. On Hockey Fights Cancer nights, pediatric patients from Children’s Hospital will be invited to the game and will participate in a ceremonial puck drop, ride the Zamboni and much more. All money raised during the games, a night dedicated to the young warriors battling this awful disease, will benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General.
ABOUT THE 365 PEDIATRIC CANCER FUND PRESENTED BY DOLLAR GENERAL
The Nashville Predators raise money annually for the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General (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 $800,000 for the hospital and its programs over the past five years. For more information about the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General, visit www.nashvillepredators.com/365fund.
ABOUT THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS FOUNDATION
The Nashville Predators recognize they play an important role in the community beyond what takes place on the ice. Established in September 1998, the Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations, awarding more than $4 million to the greater Nashville community. Between grants and other charitable donations, such as player ticket programs and fund-raising efforts, the Foundation donated nearly $900,000 in cash to community organizations during the 2013-14 season. To learn more, visit www.nashvillepredators.com/foundation.