On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to support the fight against childhood cancer through the "Cut and Color for a Cure" event to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF). More then 50 Buccaneers staff members, led by Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford, had their heads and facial hair shaved or colored by pediatric cancer patients and survivors at AdventHealth Training Center to raise money and awareness to help mitigate childhood cancer.
In the team's eighth year of participating in the campaign, Buccaneers players and staff raised over $117,000 towards this year's challenge, putting the Buccaneers' eight-year Cut and Color for a Cure total at more than $600,000.
"It starts with the Glazer family [and] their support and our entire organization – from the business side to the football side. Jason Licht, coach [Todd] Bowles – this is a unified collective effort to help try to bring awareness. It's our eighth year doing it and we've raised over a half million dollars, but more importantly we've put a lot of smiles on some faces," said Brian Ford Chief Operating Officer. "We've helped some families and some kids forget about the battle that they're in, and that's what it's all about. We're ready and unified to continue a legacy to bring awareness and fun."
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 $60,000 this year, alone. A leading contributor the past five years, Anagnost's fundraising efforts have now exceeded $165,000. Notable Buccaneers who also supported today's cause included head coachTodd Bowles,general managerJason Licht,vice president of playerpersonnelJohn Spytek, Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Will Gholston, Luke Goedeke, Logan Hall, Ryan Jensen, Pat O'Connor, Donovan Smith,andTristan Wirfs. Nine-year-old Sofia Anderson colored Brady's hair with vibrant shades representing the Buccaneers and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, bringing a glowing grin to both her face and QB1's.
"Sofia was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in January 2015," her mother Cat Anderson described. "She endured six rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, autologous stem cell transplant, 12 rounds of radiation, six rounds of immunotherapy and two years of an anti-relapse drugs...We are so blessed to have such a strong little girl!"
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.
"This is the eighth year running that we've been the beneficiary of this entire team effort. And I say team because it's a huge staff effort. I think every employee gives one way or another. And then today you saw the phenomenal support from players and the head coach, general manager, [and] chief operating officer," said David Frazer, Chief Executive Officer of the NCPF. "When a team like the Buccaneers says we're going to provide some hope and inspiration, and they do that with players and staff. [The] families show up [and] just that moment in life where these kids can have that hope to move on to the next day and defeat their disease is very powerful."
Fans may still support the Buccaneers' Cut for a Cure team by making a donation by visiting www.buccaneers.com/cutforacure.
For more information on the NPCF, go to nationalpcf.org.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have teamed up again with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation for the 8th annual Cut/Color for a Cure event in order to raise money to help fund research.