The Boston Bruins annual PUCKS AND PADDLES was held in Boston on Friday. The event began with autograph sessions and exhibition matches. The main event was a doubles tournament that matched Bruins team members with fans who had been the highest bidder in an auction. The winning auction bids this year ranged from $625 to $10,025. The proceeds raised benefit the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and the Boston Bruins Foundation. The total amount raised this year was $125,000.
Twenty-six Bruins participated this year (and also two radio personalities). The winning team included Swedish Bruins player Anton Blidh. The Blidh team defeated Canadian Bruins player Danton Heinen’s team. After the Finals, fans were treated to an all-Bruins grudge match between David Pastranak and Joakim Nordstrom (dubbed “Team Europe” as Pastranak is Czech and Nordstrom is Swedish) and the team of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron (dubbed “Team Canada”). The grudge match was great entertainment with solid play from all four, long rallies, live commentary from radio personalities, a lively crowd, and a little trash talk. It was a really good time for players and fans alike – and most importantly it was for a good cause.
The Floating Hospital for Children began in 1894 as a hospital ship sailing in Boston Harbor. In those days, little was known about childhood ailments, but it was believed that fresh air played a strong role. The Reverent Rufus B. Tobey brought impoverished children for a day’s outing where they could experience the fresh ocean air and also be seen at no charge by volunteer doctors and nurses. This practice continued for 33 years with more and more benefiting from the cruises throughout the summer. But in the 1920s, the floating hospital established an on-shore facility. After years of a loose affiliation, the floating hospital merged with Tufts Medical Center in 1965, and in 1982 moved to its own state of the art facility within the Tufts Medical Center Complex. Today, the world “floating” is somewhat of a misnomer – but the rich history of this proud pediatric teaching and research center is well-known.
Rhode Island Table Tennis were listed sponsors of the event, providing staff and some equipment to help support these causes. Seven from Rhode Island Table Tennis volunteered to serve as Referees and Score Keepers. The group had a great time promoting their club and the sport, while also contributing to this annual event. RI Table Tennis volunteers included Steve Hopkins, Chuck Cavicchio, Marta Lachcik, Igor Yankov, Matt Mathews, Christy Fry, and Jim Bowen.
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