(by Steve Hopkins)
The Boston Bruins held their annual PUCKS AND PADDLES ping pong tournament in Boston on Thursday. The event began with an autograph session, then exhibition matches, then a doubles tournament, and closed with Bruins players in their own exhibition tournament. The main event was a single elimination doubles tournament where one player on each team was a Bruins player or radio personality, and the other player was a fan who had won an auction to participate. The winning auction bids varied from $500 (to partner with radio personality Marc Bertrand) to $3425 (to play with All-Star wing David Patrnak). Twenty three players participated, as well as five radio personalities from 98.5 the Sports Hub. The proceeds raised benefit the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and the Boston Bruins Foundation. The total amount raised through the event was $119,000.00.
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.
The fundraising has not yet concluded. Additional auctions will be posted over the next week and the $119,000 number will continue to rise. If you’d like to view the remaining opportunities, visit the Boston Bruins Auction Site at www.bruinsauctions.org
Rhode Island Table Tennis and BUTTERFLY were listed sponsors of the event, providing equipment and staff 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 great event. RI Table Tennis volunteers (as shown in photo left to right): Charles Deng, Josh Litmanovich, Manny Silva, Jim Bowen, Clay Kirby, Murali Mani, and Steve Hopkins.