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Bruins fundraise $101k to fight pediatric cancer

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With six games left in the regular season, the Boston Bruins are still looking to secure their spot in the playoffs, but they will be doing so with a lot less hockey hair– the flow.

On late Monday afternoon, the Bruins and 98.5 The Sport’s Hub hosted its 10th Annual Cuts for a Cause to raise money to fight pediatric cancer at the House of Blues in Boston. The Bruins partnered with Super Cuts to grant fans the opportunity to bid and shave the heads of their favorite players. The players, winning bidders and fans helped to raise $101,000 by the end of the night for more than $700,000 raised within the decade. The event’s proceeds were donated to the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

On the behalf of the organization, Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation Bob Sweeney said the Bruins staff owe a “great gratitude to all of the players.”

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years,” said Sweeney. “I honestly want to thank everyone for all of their time and effort. It really shows their dedication.”

Nine years ago, forward Patrice Bergeron wanted to participate in the first year the event kicked off and shave his hair for a “good cause.” The event was led by former Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward for two years and former Bruins forward Shawn Thornton who took over for several years before he was traded. On taking over the event and keeping the annual tradition running for the third year, Bergeron said that “it is amazing to participate and give back.”

“It’s been a great response from fans to get involved,” said Bergeron. “[The event] is easy for us to do and it goes a long way to raise awareness.”

Bergeron and 98.5 The Sports Hub shared that the event started in the basement of the sports radio station and evolved to bigger venues like the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel over the years to the House of Blues this year, which is “the best venue” they have had. In its first year, the event raised $25,000. Since 2014, the event has raised more than $100,000 every year.

Sweeney thanked Ward, Thornton and Bergeron for their participation in “such a great cause.”

“Without the players, this could not be possible,” said Sweeney.

Bruins defenseman Torey Krug found himself in a similar situation  to Bergeron in his rookie year several years ago. In his rookie year, Krug said that he signed a contract with the Bruins right before the event. Besides participating in the event to become a part of the team, Krug joked that he wanted Thornton’s protection on the ice.

On his experience and participation every year, forward David Krejci said that he has seen “every single side” of the event– from shaving the heads of fans to donating money to getting his own head shaved.

Forward Riley Nash, who was acquired by the Bruins last summer, said the event is “pretty awesome” and “pretty cool to see.”

Besides chopping off hair for a good cause, talks about the playoffs also surfaced at the event. Nash, who played for the Carolina Hurricanes for four years prior to being traded to Boston, said competing to make the playoffs has “been an adjustment for sure” as he did not see a playoff scenario in his time in Carolina.

“Being in Boston and seeing how passionate fans are about hockey, you want to [make the playoffs],” said Nash.

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Bruins fundraise $101k to fight pediatric cancer