17,565. The capacity of TD Garden for the Boston Bruins. As one, all those people lifted their team to levels few picked it to reach. Ask Roberto Luongo if all those people made a difference (if his deafness has resolved itself yet).
If we all act as one, we can do what seems unlikely, maybe do what seems impossible. The Boston Bruins Foundation team is riding in the Pan Mass Challenge again in the summer of 2012 and I'm thrilled to be part of the 192-mile effort for the third year. Incredibly, in a fund- raising environment in which 80% efficiency is considered excellent, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS go to the Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for treatment and research. That's because we riders pay fees -- and corporate sponsors have stepped up -- to pay all the administrative and ride-associated costs. EVERY PENNY COUNTS! Pardon me for shouting but I kind of do that a lot :-).
We ride past kids holding signs that say, "Because of you, I am here." And it brings tears to our eyes. We ride alongside the "Living Proof" riders who have beaten cancer thanks to DFCI. We ride with the distant but everpresent fear that we are riding to save our own lives someday -- or those of our own families, or neighbors, or friends, or donors who are so generous that they give even though we don't know them. We ride in the hope that, as the researchers from DFCI hope, we won't have to fear cancers in this next generation.
Let's face it: my contribution to society is minimal, at best. But if, by association with the Bruins, I can help raise money to fight cancer? You may actually justify my gross overconsumption of available oxygen on our planet!
Seriously, I humbly ask you to give what you can. If it's one dollar, that makes a difference! If you can afford more, that's even better for DFCI. But we're all on the same team, and if you can skate one hard shift for all of us, please do it. Thank you, and we'll see you at the rink and on the road!