TAMPA, Fla. – On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to support the fight against childhood cancer through the annual “Cut for a Cure” to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF). More than 40 Buccaneers players and staff members had their heads and facial hair shaved or colored by pediatric cancer patients and survivors to raise money and awareness to help eliminate childhood cancer.
In the Buccaneers’ sixth year of participating in the campaign, General Manager Jason Licht challenged the team to raise $100,000 for the event. On Monday, after surpassing that goal, Licht took the stage alongside COO Brian Ford, players and staff to have his head shaved and follow through on his commitment. Following his haircut, and after an additional donation by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, it was announced that the team had raised $130,000, putting the Buccaneers’ six-year Cur for a Cure total at more than $315,000.
“It means the world,” said Licht. “They step up in so many ways that the public doesn’t even know about. I could go on and on about what the Glazer family does for people who are going through [tough times]. We have a great organization. It’s tremendous. This is a great locker room and for them to want to come together for a cause like this also shows that they’re going to want to come together on the field.”
This year’s event hit particularly close to home for the Buccaneers family. Recently, Bo Wade, son of Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Wade, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Fundraising efforts were led by Deno Anagnost, the Buccaneers Vice President of Sales and a cancer survivor who had his head shaved and personally raised more than $22,000 this year, alone. In addition, defensive players McCoy, Lavonte David, and Beau Allen served as “captains” for the charity effort. Notable Buccaneers who also supported the cause include Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, Ryan Jensen, Donovan Smith, Evan Smith, Noah Spence and Will Gholston.
“This goes to show that what we do has given us a platform that is bigger than us,” said McCoy. “The support we show for one another – we see one of our family members in need and we do what is necessary to help him out.”
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Tampa, is dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Its focus is to find less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with leading hospitals nationwide through its research initiative, The Sunshine Project.
“What an event,” said Ford. “There are a lot of emotions. What we’re trying to bring about is awareness. There are families in there that are fighting it every day and to be called and told that your child has cancer, what do you do? If we could give them a day away and bring them laughter and some smiles, that’s what it’s all about.”
For more information on NPCF, go to www.NationalPCF.org.