DENVER --Zane's Parade Foundation, founded by Broncos offensive lineman Zane Beadles, hosted "Cakes for Cancer" Sunday morning to benefit Brent's Place. Brent's Place is the only "safe-clean" housing facility in the Rocky Mountain region approved by Denver area children's hospitals.
Brent's Place helps children recovering from life-saving cancer treatments, and their families, by providing environments that are free of common viruses, bacteria and germs for the children to stay during their recovery process.
"Safe-clean" environments are critical for children recovering from treatments like bone marrow transplants because the immune systems of affected children are particularly vulnerable during the recovery process.
"I knew I wanted to do something for kids with cancer," Beadles said. "I looked around the Denver area and found Brent's Place that provides safe-clean housing for kids going through cancer treatments. They're able to stay there with their families while their immune systems are compromised. I team up with them, going on about two and a half years now and they're an organization that provides a very unique and needed thing for families going through that time in their lives. It's definitely been a great partnership."
Beadles hosted families from Brent's Place and fans of all ages at the Exdo Center in Denver for breakfast and fun on Sunday morning. Beadles along with teammate Ben Garland danced with some of the children in attendance – and some of the Cherry Creek High School Cheerleaders -- and competed in a pancake eating competition.
The event also presented the opportunity to bid in both live and silent auctions to benefit Brent's Place. Since 2011 Zane's Parade has raised more than $50,000 for Brent's Place.
The event, like the logo for Zane's Parade, was elephant themed – an elephant size cake walk, the eating competition included strap on trunks and tusks, and balloon elephants were scattered around the room.
"If I were a wild animal, I think I would be an elephant," Beadles said. "I've found a lot of similarities between myself and elephants. I would have to say they're my favorite animal. They're very passionate, their very loyal, they're smart animals and a parade of elephants I thought was a great correlation between what I wanted to accomplish with my foundation and everything. So it was perfect match for what we wanted to do."
Kids were also able to have their faces painted, color, jump in the bouncy castle and play other assorted games. Snooze provided breakfast and the pancakes for the competition and food trucks were assembled just outside the building for dessert.
"It's definitely good," Beadles said of getting the chance to hang out with the children. "Especially early in the season, coming off a big win, it's good to get out in the community. We've been given such great experiences in our lives and I'm just blessed to be in the position that I'm in that I feel like I need to give that back to people and be involved in the community. It's great to be out here and hopefully everyone has a good time."