Fans of iconic Canadian rock band Rush recently enjoyed some unique opportunities to own a piece of the band’s history – all to benefit cancer research. In exchange for a small donation, fans posed for pictures behind legendary drummer Neil Peart’s one-of-a-kind, Collector’s Series® Drum Workshop (DW) hockey-themed drumset on select dates of the band’s highly successful R40 Live Anniversary Tour. In addition, fans were able to bid on museum-worthy, autographed Rush memorabilia on eBay including a Sabian Paragon Cymbal and a limited edition, DW R40 Icon Snare – both of which were autographed by Rush. Donations from the hockey kit photo opportunities and the auction items raised a total of $25,547.28 CDN to benefit Rush drummer, Neil Peart’s charity of choice The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto. Additional sponsors included The Sports Network (TSN) and Hockey Hall of Fame.
“These fundraising efforts — which included the creativity and hard work of several companies in order to bring to fruition — were very important to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Not only did they bring a substantial amount of funding for cancer research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, but it took our vision of conquering cancer in our lifetime to thousands of Rush fans. Sincere thanks to all those involved with the creation and execution of this promotion, and to all the Rush fans who contributed to our work by getting a great souvenir photo, or by bidding on the Rush items. Special thanks to Neil Peart and his bandmates for their extreme generosity,” said Kevin Shea, director of public relations, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
This marks the second time Peart’s iconic DW “Hockey Kit” has been used to raise money for cancer research. Created for Peart in DW’s custom shop in 2009, it featured airbrushed, lacquer graphics of 30 NHL logos and custom, ice blue hardware. The kit was seen weekly by millions of hockey fans in the opening sequence of “Hockey Night in Canada” on TSN and used in the recording of Peart’s percussion-focused rendition of The Hockey Theme which was sold on iTunes with a portion of proceeds benefitting Hockey Fights Cancer.
Since 2010, the Peart’s legendary DW “Hockey Kit” has been displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside the Stanley Cup. After the conclusion of the Rush R40 tour, the kit will make its final stop in Calgary, where it will permanently reside at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, and join over 2,000 artifacts in NMC’s collection, which represent the history of music technology and tell the story of music in Canada.
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