Brent Peterson hosted "Petey's Party" in conjunction with the Nashville Predators Foundation, an event that has grown in magnitude from the first gathering of just over 100 people to a grand night at the Bridgestone Arena with over 900 people in attendance.
The event was a dinner on Thursday night and a golf tournament the next day to raise funds for Parkinson's research and to fund the Predators Foundation, which contributed over $300,000 to various community organizations this past year.
As most know, Brent has Parkinson's disease which, as he poignantly stated at the dinner, took away his opportunity to be a head coach. Those that know Brent know that he is a competitor and a fighter, and just as he did in his playing days, will not back down from this fight. The funds that are raised by his foundation are directed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be used to support research into finding a cure for Parkinson's.
Brent Peterson speaks during the program
The dinner was held on the floor of the arena, which had the new glass and the boards in place. A view before the event began.
And the floor of the arena after dinner was served
A number of players were there, along with friends of Brent and the Predators. Their presence not only shows the heart of these individuals, but their support of Brent, his cause, and the Predators Foundation.
You know hockey season is getting near when Terry Crisp is back in town
The Grim Reaper, Stu Grimson, visiting with guests
Denise and Paul McCann
Cal O'Reilly and Patrick Hornqvist. Cal said he is completely healed and anxious to get the season started
Jerred Smithson was in great spirits, saying he had a very good summer and was glad to be back in Nashville
Brent has drawn support from athletes in different sports that also suffer from Parkinson's. The View with Brian Grant, who had his NBA career with the Portland Trailblazers cut short by Parkinson's. Standing next to Brian is one of the few times I feel small. Brian is 6'9"
Coach Peter Horachek makes a bid on some of the auction items
There were numerous auction items, including a number of the new gold jerseys signed by the Predators players
In addition to support from the sports community, the Nashville music community has joined Brent and the Predators Foundation by donating a number of items, including a gaggle of guitars signed by various performers.
There are always some unique items that are up for bid. This is the penalty box that was used last season, and it was to be signed by all the players and coaches. I was very interested, but couldn't figure out where I could fit that into my house.
Gnash stylin' in the new gold jersey
George Plaster did a masterful job as the emcee of the night's program
Parkinson's is indiscriminate in attacking its victims. Young, old, athletic, or infirm, anyone can suffer from this terrible disease. One young man that spoke during the night was former professional baseball player Ben Petrick. Petrick, like Brian Grant, had his career with the Colorado Rockies cut short when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. He has undergone surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation device, and the results are remarkable. Before he spoke, a video was shown, and his ability to control his muscle movements in his upper body was almost non-existent. Seeing this young man walk almost effortlessly to the podium to speak was awe inspiring.
Ben Petrick speaks at the dinner
Jeff Allen entertained the audience with a hilarious comedy routine
Barry Trotz introduced Brent with a humorous and heartfelt introduction
There was a very touching and well done tribute to Wade Belak at the start of the program, along with a memorial to the Lokomotiv Hockey team and the three players that had played for the Predators that lost their life in the horrific plane crash
Mrs. Mike Fisher, known to most as Carrie Underwood, closed the program with a beautiful performance of "Jesus Take the Wheel"
This event is fast becoming a must attend event, not only for the fun and fellowship, but for the support of two great causes, The Predators Foundation and Peterson's Foundation for Parkinson's. The support of Predators fans, the Nashville entertainment community, and athletes from all sports across the country is indicative of the respect each has for Brent and for the Predators organization.
Kudos in particular to Rebecca King, who did a magnificent job coordinating the event, and for all the volunteers and support staff that helped to make it a great night.
We had fun, but this is a serious fight for Brent and fellow Parkinson's sufferers.
You have our love and support, Coach.