Nashville Predators Captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne typically set records on the ice, but they also helped establish a new mark at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
Weber and Rinne, in conjunction with the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General, gave a check to Children’s Hospital totaling $395,424.74 in cash and in-kind donations, the largest single donation the Preds have ever given to the hospital.
“The success of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund would not be possible without the selfless generosity exhibited by Pekka and Shea,” Nashville Predators President Sean Henry said. “Their off-ice commitment to our community, and the embrace fans have shown toward the Fund, have brought joy and relief to patients and their families while elevating this cause to new, unprecedented heights.”
As part of their involvement, Weber and Rinne purchased a suite at Bridgestone Arena, accommodating children and families from Children’s Hospital for all Preds home games. In addition, guests of the suite often get to meet their new heroes after the game. For the Preds duo, giving back to an organization that is already close to the Predators Foundation just makes sense.
“With the help of the Preds Foundation and everybody, it was pretty easy decision for us to get involved,” Rinne said. “I’m just really happy to be part of it. It’s a great way to give back, but also for us, it makes you feel good; the money and the contribution and your time is actually going to something really good.”
“Even before Pekka and I got involved with this, the Predators have always had a partnership or some sort of connection with the Children’s Hospital and we’ve always spent time and tried and help the kids feel better, no matter what they were going through,” Weber said. “We just wanted to get more involved and give back a little bit more and help out on a whole different level than just coming and visiting.”
Over the course of the coming season, the Preds are set to host Hockey Fights Cancer nights on Nov. 7 vs. St. Louis and Feb. 20 vs. Los Angeles. Those contests will include special auctions and presentations, with all money raised on those nights going to benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General.