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CAUSES: Boston Bruins Foundation
I started the foundation seven years ago to support local charities. Every year the players and I choose different organizations, and one of the biggest is always neonatal care at Tufts Medical Center. I’ve personally toured the neonatal intensive care unit and was so moved by the babies who are just one and a half pounds. It really pulls at your heartstrings. The foundation also contributes to youth activities, particularly street hockey in local communities. Last year was our biggest year yet.
ANNUAL EVENT: Golf tournament, September 2011
PRESIDENT, BOSTON BRUINS
CAUSES: The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care
Both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other, and both passed away from the disease. We saw as a family dealing with our own parents that family often gets left out of the care, especially if there are young kids. So I work with Tufts Medical Center to help provide comforts for the families of cancer patients. We have already built 16 self-contained apartments for patient families, and now we’re building a house for a patient plus the family. With these apartments people can see, touch and feel where their money is being spent. The families get to see more of the patients without the worries of parking or long drives, and patients get to see more of their families, which might be the best kind of medicine.
It’s unfortunate that they’re almost always in use. We’re creating another space at the Floating Hospital for Children and trying to raise $5 million to build the Michael Neely brain tumor center in memory of my dad.
ANNUAL EVENT: Comics Come Home, November; The Neely Sk8 Challenge
FROM LEFT: David Ortiz; John Henry
DESIGNATED HITTER, BOSTON RED SOX
CAUSE: David Ortiz Children’s Fund, benefi tting children in need of critical care throughout New England and in the Dominican Republic
A friend of mine said he wanted to take me to see a place for fi ve minutes. It turned out to be a hospital with a list of 300 kids waiting for heart surgery. Only two names had been crossed off that year. Since then, with the help of the fund, 150 kids have received open-heart surgery.
Kids need to have fun. Some are suffering because they can’t run around like healthy children can. One time [in the Dominican Republic] I held a tiny infant in my arms. He was just a few months old, and he started to turn purple. He was rushed to surgery. The next time I went back to the DR, he was one year old and healthy. Having a sick child is also tough on the parents. I’ve seen the whole family coming to the hospital for a checkup postsurgery. Parents can take care of themselves again, and kids are walking on their own instead of being carried in. You get to see the kids act like kids again.