During the 2011 season, the Broncos offensive line had even more reason to put defenders on their backs.
For every pancake block the line made last year, Zane Beadles donated $250 to Brent’s Place as part of his “Cakes for Cancer” program.
This Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to noon MDT, Beadles and his teammates are holding a Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Cakes for Cancer program even further, helping kids and families of Brent’s Place.
“This event is big for us,” Beadles said. “We’re going to try to raise a little bit of money, but the biggest thing about it is just trying to get the word out. Get people on board, companies on board, and get fans informed about the program. We want to have them be able to come in and interact with us.”
The event will include a pancake breakfast from Snooze, a photobooth by Bamboo Booth and a station to decorate cupcakes with D Bar Desserts along with facepainting, frame making, bounce castles and a few more surprises.
Tickets are still available — $50 for adults and $25 for kids age 12 and under.
“The program has been going well,” Beadles said. “We raised $15,000 (in 2011) just from the offensive line here. The goal is to really expand that as we go through this year and get some corporate sponsors — we’ve already started to get that. So it’s going well.”
Beadles’ inspiration for the program came while playing at the University of Utah, when he met a 7-year-old boy named Ryker, who was stricken with Glioblastoma Multiforme cancer.
The Utes adopted Ryker as a member of the team, but about a year later, he lost his battle with cancer.
“I knew I wanted to do something with cancer and something with kids,” Beadles said. “I just looked around the area and found Brent’s Place. I learned about them and what they do and it seemed like a perfect fit. That’s how it kind of came about.”
Brent’s Place operates two hospital hospitality houses — one near Denver’s Presbyterian Saint Luke’s Hospital with six apartments primarily for adults with cancer and their families, and one adjacent to Aurora’s Anschutz Medical Campus with 16 apartments primarily for children with cancer and their families.
The new facility also includes social and activity spaces, a meeting room, commercial kitchen, library, exercise room, and an outdoor play space designed specifically for immune-compromised children.
“Specifically, the money raised by Zane will be used to provide specialized housing for pediatric cancer patients who have been required to temporarily relocate to Denver, along with their families, to receive life-saving medical treatments,” Brent’s Place Executive Director Sean Meyerhoffer said in a statement.
“It’s awesome,” Beadles said. “Especially when I go into Brent’s Place and interact with the kids and the families and they say, ‘Thank you.’ Really just being around them is huge for me and really fulfilling.”
The program is important to Beadles, whose family has also been affected by cancer. He said the rest of the offensive line has taken up the cause, as well, allowing for a little extra excitement while watching tape looking for pancake blocks.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “The offensive line, we do everything together anyway — that’s the whole thing with us. So something that we could do for charity and kind of incorporate everybody in the room was definitely something I wanted to do. It’s been successful so far.”