During the Red Wings' Stanley Cup run, fans raised $17,335 for the Detroit Red Wings Foundation during the 2009 Red Wings Beard-a-thon. In all, a total of 591 Red Wings' fans decided to “grow one for the team” and over 517 fans donated to the cause.
Patrick Maly was the top fund-raiser among Red Wings' fans. Maly raised $2,220 and for his beard heroics, he will be awarded a Red Wings' Winter Classic jersey. Rounding out the top five beard growers were local radio DJ Mike Bradley ($2,003); 30 Seconds From Mars guitarist Tomo Millcevic ($940); Todd Wills ($743.25) from Addison, Texas; and Kirk Reed ($655) from Arvada, Colorado.
“Hockeytown, once again, demonstrated their passion for the team and the sport of hockey," said Steve Violetta, senior vice president of business affairs for the Red Wings. "I would like to thank all of our beard growers and pledgers. While it may not have been pretty, the dollars raised through this promotion will make a positive impact in our community.”
The Red Wings Beard-a-thon was an opportunity for fans to grow their own playoff beard and raise money for charity. Additionally, fans could pledge a Red Wings' player, or build a virtual beard for themselves on the Web site.
About the Playoff Beard: A playoff beard is the superstitious practice of a National Hockey League player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup. It is believed that the tradition was started in the 1980s by the four-time Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders. In recent years, other sports have claimed the playoff beard tradition, but it is, and always will be, a hockey tradition.
About the Detroit Red Wings Foundation: The Detroit Red Wings Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, provides funds and resources to worthy causes that help grow the sport of hockey.
Established in 2005, the foundation supports several initiatives and organizations, including the development of inner city youth hockey, the fight against cancer, a wide array of children’s health, educational and recreational activities and other needs of the community through the sport of hockey.
Through the Toast of Hockeytown, player appearances and other team-sponsored events, the Red Wings help raise over $1 million annually for various organizations in our community.