On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the fight against childhood cancer through the Cut for a Cure to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. More than 40 Buccaneers players and staff members had their heads and facial hair shaved or colored orange – the official color of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation – by pediatric cancer patients and survivors to raise money and awareness to help eliminate childhood cancer. Participants included Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford, Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Will Gholston, and Joe Hawley. This was the fifth consecutive year that the Buccaneers have participated in the program.
Entering Wednesday, Buccaneers players and staff had raised nearly $40,000 towards this year’s campaign – including the notable efforts of Deno Anagnost, the Buccaneers Director of Sales and a cancer survivor who had his head shaved and personally raised more than $20,000 this year, alone. His extraordinary efforts were complemented by Buccaneers Producer Kirsten Phillips, who challenged the players to raise the team’s fundraising goal to $75,000. Inspired by the fight against pediatric cancer, Phillips committed to have her full head of hair cut if that goal was reached.
“The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation means so much to the Buccaneers organization,” said McCoy. “When our Head Coach Dirk Koetter came in, if you walk around the building, every sign you see says ‘COMPETE’ – and that’s not just for us on the field, but the employees of the Buccaneers organization, too.”
Through on-the-spot donations from Chris Conte, Lavonte David, Evans, Gholston, McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Donovan Smith and Winston, the players reached the new fundraising goal and Phillips followed through on her pledge.
Since 2013, the team has now raised more than $185,000 through the Cut for a Cure.
PewterReport.com readers and Pinchasers Bowling were able to raise $700 last Friday night in our monthly charity bowling mixer that was donated to the event on Wednesday.
“Today is a day that the staff and players look forward to every year,” said Ford. “The opportunity to not only raise much-needed funds, but put a smile on the face of children and their families is just a small gesture and our way of supporting each family with all the hard work of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.”
The 2017 Cut for a Cure kicked off earlier this year as individuals, groups and organizations throughout Tampa Bay began making charitable donations and having their heads and facial hair shaved to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. Only approximately four percent of government cancer funding is allocated to pediatric cancer research, and 43 children per day will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Funds raised from the Cut for a Cure provide medical research, programming and pediatric care for children and their families fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders.
“The Buccaneers are a staple in the Tampa Bay community and that support resonates across the community,” said National Pediatric Cancer Foundation CEO David Frazer. “The players and the staff that get behind this cause are generating hundreds of thousands of dollars. This year alone, the number is $75,000. If you do the numbers, that’s four kids on trial. You can correlate the efforts of just today and that can change the lives of four children – that’s significant.”
To make a donation, and for more information, visit www.buccaneers.com/cutforacure.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com