The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 14, 2009

Dumping the razor to support cancer research


That’s not to say I don’t grow a beard from time to time. Generally it happens because I go on vacation and don’t bother shaving, and after a week I figure that I might as well let it keep on growing.

But this is different. Even if it gets itchy and uncomfortable, this beard will feel good because every penny I can raise – assuming I raise a few – will go to cancer research.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation was started in 1993 by the great Penguins player when he was battling Hodgkin’s disease.

Lemieux, now the team owner, is fortunately cancer-free. But he still devotes much of his time and energy to growing the foundation to support its programs.

The foundation has donated $5 million to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which used the money to establish the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research. A gift of $2 million helped develop the Lemieux Family Center at the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, and a donation of $1.6 million to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh supports pediatric oncology research and other efforts.

Lemieux’s skill was unequaled when he was a player. Now, he is also among the greats in relation to raising money to fight a dreaded disease.

You’ll be able to follow my facial-hair progress – as well as the money we’ll be raising together – throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs on this page and at

And you can click on and type in my name to see how I’m doing.

Why not come along for the ride and make a donation to the Mario Lemieux Foundation?

And let’s hope for a deep playoff run for the Penguins – beginning with a win tonight against the hated Philadelphia Flyers.

Chip Minemyer is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5091.

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