Brad Paisley recording to benefit Podein foundation

Nick Gentling, left, and Bryce Lampman, both of Rochester, join in on the 14th annual celebrity party fundraiser. Lampman, who was drafted by the New York Rangers, has been playing professional hockey for 10 years and recently returned from playing in Germany.

The young people who make up the Shjon Podein Children's Foundation's Team 25 got star treatment during the annual celebrity party fundraiser June 26 in Rochester, including one who can now call himself a famous songwriter.

Country star Brad Paisley recorded a song called "Hard Life," written by Joe Kindregan, a member of Team 25 from Washington, D.C. The song premiered in Rochester during the golf fundraiser on June 27 and is expected to be released in fall.

The proceeds from the song will go to Team 25, a Rochester-based organization started by former NHL player Shjon Podeinand his wife to help find a cure for ataxia telangiectasia and help young people like Kindregan, who are facing extraordinary difficulties.

"I loved growing up here and I love coming back here to do something that I think does a lot of good for the community," said Podein, who now lives in Colorado.

The event, which drew 1,000 people and raised more than $150,000, is like an annual reunion for those who travel from across the country to attend. Among the people who've been attending the event since the beginning 14 years ago is Michael Vogel,of Rochester, who said he's known Podein since he was 5 years old and made a scrapbook about Team 25.


Other mainstays include local radio personality Mark Clark, who has emceed the event every year, and actor Steve Shenbaum, who has appeared in many popular television shows and movies, and this year introduced each Team 25 member to the crowd gathered at the International Event Center.

Mark Stuart, whose hockey jersey was up for auction, said he grew up in Rochester idolizing Podein.

Podein grew up in Rochester and played in the NHL for 12 years. His career highlights include winning the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche and being awarded the King Clancy Cup the same year for his service to humanity off-ice.

While supporting Team 25 is the main draw of the event, there's also the celebrity factor. Over the years, Podein has invited a long list of well-known sports and entertainment personalities, including actor Matt Damon.

"Matt Damon sat down and talked with us for a while," said Dawn Meyer, of Rochester, describing her brush with fame at one the past events. "He was just really nice. He was like a normal guy."

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