On Monday, June 4, the Buccaneers will host Cut for a Cure, an event that benefits children and families affected by pediatric cancer. Participants include Buccaneers players and front office staff who will either shave their heads, or cut or color their hair, as a way to solicit donations for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
This year, General Manager Jason Licht has raised the stakes.
Licht put forth a challenge for the Bucs to raise $100,000. If they do, he said he'll get in on the 'buzz' and shave his head. This is the sixth year the Bucs will host the event, but what made Licht want to get even more involved was the fact that this cause now hits a little closer to home.
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Wade and his family were told the news that their son, Bo, had Ewing's Sarcoma, which is a rare bone cancer that mostly affects children and teenagers. Bo is currently undergoing treatment for the disease.
"When I heard the news that Bo was affected, it hit our family," Licht said. "Bo is the same age as my oldest, Charlie. They've gotten together. All of our kids here on staff have gotten together from time to time here at practice or events that we have. It was my son Charlie and I that had a conversation. We knew that the Bucs' Cut for a Cure was coming up and we thought that this would be a great opportunity to show our support for Bo and all of those affected. Bo is not the only kid that we know that has been affected. I think we've all been indirectly hit with this. But it kind of just struck a chord and it motivated me to do whatever I could to get involved.
"After I mentioned it to [Charlie], he was like, 'yeah, you should do it!' and he wants to also do it."
So, $100,000 and both the big Licht and little Licht will shed some light on the cause by shaving their heads as a tribute to their friend Bo. Charlie isn't the only one Jason has recruited for the event, either. After social media got ahold of Licht's challenge, some Buccaneers players answered the call, including new Bucs' defensive tackle Beau Allen and some of his defensive teammates.
"So, me, Lavonte [David] and Gerald [McCoy] are all going to be captains this year," Allen said of the Bucs' fundraising team. "There are a lot of guys getting involved. It's a great thing and we all want to see Jason shave his head. I think that'd be fun for everybody."
Allen himself is no stranger to community involvement and was very active in aiding cancer research organizations in Philadelphia, prior to joining the Buccaneers, because of his mother who is a cancer survivor. Allen has voiced his support for Licht and Cut for a Cure on Twitter, even as Licht challenged a member of the media to shave his 'man bun' for the cause.
"When I saw on Twitter that some people were posting about this - one particular guy that was getting involved in the chatter has a lot of hair," Licht said. "He has a man bun, so I called out for him to get the man bun shaved off and I would chip in an extra $500."
That man bun belongs to Pewter Report's Trevor Sikkema, who as someone that is used to covering events like these, will be put on the spot to participate this year – especially because Allen chimed in that he'd match Licht's $500 donation.
"I think he's nervous now," Licht said.
"We're all just trying to spread the word, raise money, raise awareness and help out as much as we can in any way we can," Allen said. Various players have also joined in the social media conversation in support of the effort and front office members, like Buccaneers' Vice President of Ticket Sales Deno Anagnost, who is a big-time contributor every year, and has already raised over $13,000 alone.
You can get involved by donating here. All proceeds will go to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to help find a cure and aid in treatment for pediatric cancer patients.