Tampa Bay Sports Day

BUCS: Cut for a Cure Benefits National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the fight against childhood cancer through the Cut for a Cure to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. More than 20 players and staff members had their heads and facial hair shaved by pediatric cancer patients and survivors in an effort to raise money and awareness to help eliminate childhood cancer.

Participants included Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, quarterback Jameis Winston, tackle Donovan Smith, guard Ali Marpet, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, running back Charles Sims, safety Keith Tandy, tight end Danny Vitale, tight end Alan Cross, defensive tackle Travis Britz, and linebacker Luke Rhodes. This was the fourth consecutive year that the Buccaneers have participated in the program.

Through donations from the Buccaneers organization, as well as fundraising efforts by players, staff, and fans, $40,000 was raised this year for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation – more than doubling the $20,000 goal originally set by the team.

Notable contributors included McCoy, who announced to the group that he would ensure the total reached $40,000, and the efforts of Deno Anagnost, the Buccaneers Director of Sales. Anagnost, a cancer survivor, had his head shaved and personally raised more than $16,500 towards the team’s fundraising goal. In the Buccaneers’ four years of involvement with the Cut for a Cure, the team has raised more than $110,000.

“The Cut for the Cure doesn’t just last for one day – this is a year-round effort to raise awareness,” said Ford. “We’re in our fourth year of supporting this cause, and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has become part of our family. Speaking from personal experience, we draw a tremendous amount of inspiration and hope from meeting and interacting with these children and their families.”

The 2016 Cut for a Cure kicked off earlier this year as individuals, groups and organizations throughout Tampa Bay began making charitable donations and having their heads and facial hair shaved to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. Only four percent of government cancer funding is allocated to pediatric cancer research, and 43 children per day will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Funds raised from the Cut for a Cure provide medical research, programming and pediatric care for children and their families fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders.

“The Buccaneers are champions in their own right, on the field and off the field,” said National Pediatric Cancer Foundation CEO David Frazer. “Seeing players and staff here today recognize a valid cause, contribute to our organization and put joy into these kids’ faces, those are true winners.”