TAMPA, Fla. — Hair fell for a good cause Wednesday night. As it happened, Vinny Lecavalier could only give thanks.
“It means a lot,” the Tampa Bay Lightning center said from a chair as a razor buzzed behind him. “It’s our third year. It’s for a great cause. The whole community is supporting it. … Every year, it has gotten bigger.”
Lecavalier was one of five Lightning players who participated in the fourth annual “Cut for a Cure Charity Challenge” at Tampa Bay Times Forum. On both sides of the captain on a small stage, defenseman Matt Carle, center Alex Killorn, and wingers Teddy Purcell and B.J. Crombeen flanked him.
The group was one of seven “teams,” 38 people total, scheduled to receive a shave before friends, family and supporters of the Vinny Lecavalier Foundation, which took part in the challenge for a third year. More than $150,000 was pledged to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Lecavalier said, to help find a cure for childhood cancer.
“It was great,” Carle said. “Any time you can bring a smile to a kid’s face, it makes it all worth it. It was nothing to come in here and take time out of our schedules to sacrifice our hair. It’s not a big deal. It’s not a big deal at all compared to what these kids have gone through.”
The challenge is a series of six sponsored shavings around the Tampa Bay region that assist in fundraising for the Tampa-based Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The Vinny Lecavalier Foundation’s gathering Wednesday was similar to an event held by the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., in March.
Overall, the challenge raised more than $350,000 last year. As of Wednesday morning, $327,664 had been raised for 2013.
“It’s great that everybody gets involved and helps out in the community,” Lecavalier said.