The Annual Donation Totals Over $335,000 for Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Nashville, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2021) – On behalf of the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily (the “365 Fund”), the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub (the “Predators Foundation”) came together today, in the midst of Hockey Fights Cancer Month, to present Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (“Children’s Hospital”) with a check for $335,000.21. The 365 Fund, which was created during the 2012-13 season by recently retired goaltender Pekka Rinne and former captain Shea Weber, has now donated more than $3.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to the life-changing pediatric cancer research that takes place at Children’s Hospital.
“Our commitment to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily has been unwavering during the past two very strange years,” Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King said. “Thanks to the support of our fans, partners, employees and players we were able to raise over $50,000 more in 2020-21 than we did in 2019-20 when our season was cut short. We are so proud of the work the doctors and researchers can achieve thanks to the donations to this fund. Our organization has built strong relationships and friendships with many families who have received great care and treatment at Children’s Hospital. We are fortunate to have the best of the best health care facilities in our very own back yard.”
At the outdoor check presentation, which has traditionally been held inside and followed by a trip to Seacrest Studios, Predators Foundation representatives were joined by Children’s Hospital President Dr. Meg Rush, Nashville Predators Chief Operating Officer Michelle Kennedy, Twice Daily Regional Director of Operations Samuel Perry and other representatives from the Children’s Hospital, as well as Predators mascot GNASH and Children’s Hospital mascot Champ. Together, those in attendance celebrated the 365 Fund’s contribution to Children’s Hospital while also reflecting on the past two years that have presented many challenges and uncertainties.
“Year after year, we are blown away by the incredible support of the Nashville Predators and Hockey Fights Cancer,” said Debra Friedman, M.D., who holds the E. Bronson Ingram Chair of Pediatric Oncology and is director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital. “The contributions raised through the team’s 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund help us support childhood cancer research, identify new ways of curing pediatric cancer and deliver treatments in the best way possible for each individual child.”
Throughout the 2021-22 season, the Predators Foundation will continue efforts to raise money for the 365 Fund through Hockey Fights Cancer nights – starting Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes – special auctions and more. On Hockey Fights Cancer nights (Nov. 13, 2021 and April 9, 2022), child ambassadors will be invited to the game not only to take part in a luxury suite experience but also to participate in special in-game activities like riding the Zamboni and much more. All money raised during the game, a night dedicated to the young warriors battling this awful disease, will benefit the 365 Fund.
This season, at the Predators Foundation area (outside of Section 106/107) during all Predators home games, fans can also purchase an ‘I FIGHT FOR’ lavender foam puck to honor or commemorate someone who has been affected by cancer. For $10, they will receive one puck to take home and one to add to the Hockey Fights Cancer bin – which represents all those we’re fighting for and in memory of in Smashville. Proceeds benefit the 365 Fund. Fans can also purchase exclusive merch on the Hockey Fights Cancer Shop, bid on silent auction items by texting PREDS to 76278 or visit NashvillePredators.com/365Fund for more information.
While financial support plays a large role in the efforts of the 365 Fund, the relationships formed and memories made with the young patients and their families truly give life to the mission of supporting the Children’s Hospital. Over the years, Rinne and Weber have bonded with countless patients by visiting the hospital and hosting families in the 365 Fund suite at Bridgestone Arena. In his final season in 2020-21, Rinne’s desire to find a safe way to interact with the kids led to an ongoing series of weekly virtual visits through Zoom calls with the hospital’s Seacrest Studio. Through these visits and with the help of his teammates, Rinne continues to lift the spirits of children who are fighting to recover from various injuries and illnesses.
Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have always been committed to the health of our community, but as we battle COVID-19, their unyielding efforts have been recognized now more than ever. While the 365 Fund raises funds and awareness for cancer research, Children’s Hospital and VUMC provide not only crucial care and resources, but also healing through comfort and hope. Despite 2020-21’s many challenges, the long-time partnership between the Nashville Predators, Children’s Hospital and VUMC has continued to flourish and will do so for years to come.
About the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub
The Predators Foundation has partnered with Nashville-based SmileDirectClub in an ongoing effort to meet educational, social, health and cultural needs throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The Predators Foundation is devoted to using its platform and influence from its affiliation with professional sports to serve the needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. Since its inception in 1998, the Predators Foundation has awarded over $7.9 million in grants to the greater Nashville community. In 2020 alone, the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena, Ford Ice Centers and Predators Foundation drove approximately $5.5 million in life-changing funds to assist a wide variety of relief efforts, non-profit organizations and individuals in need across the Nashville community and surrounding areas. To learn more about the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub and to see a list of upcoming events, visit NashvillePredators.com/Foundation.
About the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily
The 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily was created during the 2012-13 season by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and former captain Shea Weber in partnership with the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub. The partnership raises funds and awareness for the vital cancer research that takes place at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Since the fund’s inception, donations totaling more than $3.6 million in cash and in-kind gifts have been made to the hospital and its programs. Additionally, the 365 Fund collaborates with the Nashville Predators organization to brighten the lives of the hospital’s young patients and their families by offering opportunities to meet members of the Predators team and experience the joy of hockey games in SMASHVILLE. For more information on the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily, or to donate, please visit NashvillePredators.com/365Fund.
About Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals, treating and helping to prevent a full range of pediatric health issues from colds and broken bones to complex heart diseases and cancer. Achieving 10 out of 10 nationally ranked pediatric specialties in 2021, Children’s Hospital was again named among the nation’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” for the 15th consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, Children’s Hospital earned the distinction as the No. 1 pediatric hospital in Tennessee, and in a new regional ranking, sharing first place in the Southeast Region.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, a nonprofit organization, opened in 2004, expanded its physical space in 2012, and recently added four new floors encompassing 160,000 total sq. ft. The new expansion helps to advance the size and scope of the hospital’s mission. For more about Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt: ChildrensHospitalVanderbilt.org