Tom and the Lion raises $160,000 to support Butler Hospital programs
On September 27, over 460 people gathered to raise awareness about mental illness and sports-related brain injury and to help people access treatment at Butler Hospital.
The main event took place in the RI Convention Center Ballroom. A documentary of Tom Cavanagh's life and his struggle with mental illness set the tone for this mission driven fundraiser. Butler Hospital's Steven Rasmussen, MD, explained how trauma affects the brain. Pat LaFontaine delivered an inspirational keynote which recanted his personal experiences of multiple head injuries and debilitating depression and paranoia. The audience, captivated and emotional, jumped to their feet at the conclusion of LaFontaine's speech.
Tom and the Lion informed many people about mental illness and how important it was to access treatment. Athletes, coaches, and parents were challenged to think about sports related concussions and its consequences. LaFontaine encouraged athletes to ask for help. The Cavanagh family honored Tom's memory while supporting Butler's mission of helping psychiatric illness, substance abuse issues, and neurologic disorders.
Thank you to Pat LaFontaine and the Cavanagh Family.
Tom Cavanagh began his career with the AHL Worcester Sharks and the NHL San Jose Sharks. His tragic death led the family to establish the Thomas G. Cavanagh Memorial Fund so that they can help other families struggling with mental illness or brain related injuries. Pat LaFontaine was one of Tom's favorite hockey players. Pat LaFontaine retired because of the concussions he sustained while playing with the NHL Islanders, Sabres and Rangers from 1983 to 1998.