Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Than A Game

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images. Used without permission)

We all love our sports. I know I have been called obsessed more than a few times. It's also been brought to my attention that sometimes it's silly to get so emotionally involved in silly games. And maybe it is. But I can't fault the Red Sox or the Lightning in using their higher profile to raise awareness and money to help those in need.

Last year, Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier and several of his teammates participated in the first ever Tampa Bay's Cut for a Cure. Local business owners, professional athletes, and high profile members of the community were sponsored via donations. They then had their heads shaved to raise awareness and funds for The Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Center at All Children's Hospital. This year seven current players and one Lightning alumni from the Stanley Cup winning team are participating: Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, Teddy Purcell, Victor Hedman, Ryan Malone, Mike Smith, Stan Neckar, & Nate Thompson. As great as my grief will be at seeing Nate Thompson's gorgeous hair vanish, I can't argue with the cause. Good for you, boys.

The Red Sox have also stepped up this week to raise money for the Red Cross' efforts to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami ravaged nation of Japan. Japan and America are linked, especially when it comes to our love of the game of baseball. There have been many great players from Japan who have shaped what our past time is. I can't even imagine what the Japanese players who are here for Spring Training have gone through when it comes to seeing what is happening to their homeland and to their family and friends. Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa, and Itsuki Shoda were all outside of City of Palms park before last night's game against the Yankees collecting donations from the fans. All of the money donated there and through the Red Sox Foundation will be directed to the Red Cross' relief efforts. If that isn't a worthy cause, I don't know what is.

I don't make a lot of money. But there is no way I can sit back and do nothing. Every dollar helps. If I can give, so can you.

To sponsor a Lightning player visit: Tampa Bay's Cut For a Cure

To help the Red Sox Foundation & Red Cross help Japan visit: Red Sox Foundation

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