Shawn Thornton is known for being a forward for the Boston Bruins. He’s a winger on the Merlot Line, arguably the best fourth line in all of the NHL. He has been known to delivering punishing checks and is not above pummeling an opposing player to generate energy for his team. When he’s not being a menace to other teams in hockey, he’s being a rather amazing human being.
Today was the seventh annual Cuts For a Cause. It was held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s where Shawn Thornton encourages his fellow Bruins and local media personalities to get their heads shaved for charity. This year, Thornton was able to cajole, goad, or semi-threaten twenty one members of the Bruins team to get their heads shaved. Some of the players, like Dennis Seidenberg and Jarome Iginla needed very little work done. Other players, like Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton took considerably more time to do. (The look on Hamilton’s face as his hair came down in very large clumps was priceless!)
A dozen different organizations helped put this great afternoon together, and overall it was a top notch event. The buffet served was plentiful and well put together. (I even had my first Molson beers since my college days…a long, long, time ago.) The Bruins players came out at half past two in the afternoon and were extremely generous with their time. (My right pinky has swollen up from the time I shook Johnny Boychuk‘s hand. Truth be told, I don’t care. It was an awesome moment.) After an hour with the fans, the Bruins headed out to the grand ballroom where the shavings began.
I had never been to one of these before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t just the players getting their heads shaved. There were fathers of young children who had agreed to do it for charity, members of the hospital staff (including the CEO) had all volunteered to throw their hair away for charity. In the end, it broke a record for the event. Over one hundred and eighteeen thousand dollars was raised for the the Boston Bruins Foundation, the Shawn Thornton Foundation, and Tufts Children’s Hospital.
On a personal note I can honestly say that Zdeno Chara is that tall, Patrice Bergeron is that nice, and the Merlot Men (Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell) were very accommodating with a fan who really wanted his custom jersey signed.