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Pals Pitch In

Monday, 08.6.2012 / 5:34 PM ET / Features
By Joe Gallagher  - BostonBruins.com
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Pals Pitch In

MIDDLETON, MA – With blue skies, freshly cut grass and the sound of bagpipes washing over Ferncroft Country Club, Shawn Thornton’s 3rd annual “Putts and Punches for Parkinson’s” golf tournament was in full swing this afternoon.

Thornton worked alongside the Boston Bruins Foundation to host the event, and was happy to once again see support from the community and friends alike.

“Sold out, so we got a good turnout,” the forward said of his first impressions. “Hopefully we can raise some good money for Parkinson’s.”

“The support from everyone around – pretty much everyone comes back, there’s a couple cancellations every year but somebody is waiting to step in so the support has been pretty remarkable.”

With golfers warming up at the driving range beside him, Thornton explained why the cause is so close to his heart.

“My grandmother had Parkinson’s for the last 14-15 years when she was around, she passed a few years ago,” said Thornton.

As for the actual golfing, Thornton alluded to his hockey background possibly being of help.

“The swing is supposed to translate a bit from the ice I guess,” he explained.

While anyone would be hard stricken to drive zingers like Happy Gilmore, the hockey-esque support from his teammates was akin to their camaraderie on the ice, as a pair of teammates made a point to attend Thornton’s event as caddies to the cause.

One was Daniel Paille, Thornton’s “Merlot Line” partner. The other teammate teeing off was Tuukka Rask.

Earlier in the offseason, Thornton said that he and Rask have a boat they take out for spins together. So it should come as no surprise that the goaltender was there to help drive in support of the cause.

“Tuukka’s my boy,” Thornton said to the media.

Rask echoed that sentiment and said, “It’s a really, really good charity and it’s close to his heart, you know, he’s got some first-hand experience in that with family."

Thornton also spoke of his close relationship to his other on-ice family member, explaining how Paille is “naturally good at everything” and elaborated on the natural cohesiveness they’ve found on the ice.

“We just know where each other are and we know certain things that communication doesn’t have to be verbal all the time - you can kind of read off each other,” Thornton said of Paille.

Paille’s decision didn’t take much thought when Thornton invited him to the event.

“I’m just there to help my teammate out any way I can and, you know, he invited me to come here and obviously I was more than willing to come,” said the forward.

For the Bruins, there are no mulligans when it comes to swinging for your teammates, on and off the ice – a principle that has enforced a lot of good throughout the years.

“It’s no secret that Shawn’s a big guy into helping the community out,” Paille concluded.

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