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by Christina Echegaray | Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, 8:46 AM
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, Predators executive leaders and mascot Gnash recently presented the proceeds of the team’s 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Rinne and Gnash made a check presentation to Children’s Hospital leadership for $427,144, of which $100,000 will be designated for the Growing to New Heights Campaign, which supports the hospital’s four-floor expansion. A portion of the funds also will support pediatric cancer research. Over the past seven years combined, the team has donated more than $1 million to the hospital and its programs.
“We are extremely grateful to the Nashville Predators for their continued support of our pediatric cancer research. It is because of generous community partners like the Predators that we are able to conduct invaluable research to further enhance the quality of care we provide to patients battling pediatric cancers,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, Pediatrician-in-Chief, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and James C. Overall Professor.
“Their commitment to also support our Growing to New Heights Campaign efforts will help us to be able to serve even more children and families. In addition, the Nashville Predators players’ visits to Children’s Hospital throughout the year are a highlight for children and families.”
As part of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, Rinne purchased a suite at Bridgestone Arena that accommodates 32 children and families from Children’s Hospital for all Preds home games. A night at the suite includes food and beverages, Xbox games, knee hockey with a real goal light, 365 Fund T-shirts and postgame meet and greets. On select nights, the suite will be auctioned off and 100 percent of the money raised will go to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund.
“Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is truly a treasure for all of Smashville. Partnering with them for financial support is easy; what’s more important is how we partner. Through all of our employees, our players, our coaches and our players’ and coaches’ wives, we are able to truly bring even more attention to the challenges with children’s cancer,” said Sean Henry, president and CEO of the Nashville Predators.
“Our player visits take tough days and allow the kids to forget about their challenges for a bit, and the financial resources our fans create through the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund allow for further development of research that ideally will make children’s cancer a thing of past. It’s no coincidence our helmets are gold this season, to match the national color for children’s cancer awareness. This season, we are doing all we can to support Children’s Hospital,” Henry said.
Throughout the 2016-17 season, Rinne will continue to join forces with the Nashville Predators Foundation to raise money for the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund through Hockey Fights Cancer nights (Nov. 12 vs. Anaheim and Feb. 26 vs. Edmonton), 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 disease, will benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund.
Christina Echegaray, (615) 322-4747
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