SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 7, 2012

Bruins' Thornton pushes back against Parkinson's

MIDDLETON — Put up your dukes, Parkinson’s disease, because Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton is coming for you. And he’s bringing friends with him.

It was a full house yesterday at the Ferncroft Country Club as foursomes from around the Bay State came out in support of Thornton and the Boston Bruins Foundation’s third annual “Putts and Punches for Parkinson’s” golf tournament.

Joined by linemate Danny Paille and netminder Tuukka Rask, Thornton welcomed Bruins fans who enjoyed 18 holes of golf followed by dinner and cocktails, as well as a raffle and silent auction with a chance to win one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia and other items.

All of the proceeds benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and the American Parkinson Disease Association.

“It’s a good time. I know a lot of people, and they have been very supportive the last few years,” Thornton said. “I like to keep this (tournament) pretty loose and pretty relaxed and fun, and I think everyone enjoys it, so they keep coming back, which is great.”

When the tournament first started, Thornton had to find enough foursomes to fill out the tournament. Now that the event is in its third year, word-of-mouth seems to be doing some of Thornton’s job for him.

“As far as foursomes go, the first year, I had to go out and beg and plead for people to sign up, but now everyone keeps coming back, so that part has been unbelievably easy for me,” Thornton said. “As far as donations, a lot of people stepped up and keep giving us more and more. The people have been very supportive — everyone around town, from the people who donated and the people who paid money to come.”

Thornton was also grateful that his two teammates came out, although he wasn’t overly surprised, as the Bruins have as close a locker room as you will find in professional sports.

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