In life, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. For me, it was the arrival of my son into this world. This little miracle from God not only brought about the biggest joy to my life, but also opened my eyes to something that is not so little, Autism. For Jack Parker, the Executive Director of Athletics and Head Men’s Hockey coach for Boston University, it was a little idea that has turned into something huge.
In 2004, Coach Parker decided to unveil a plan that would spread clear across the University. The plan was that each athletic team would choose a specific charity to team up with and support. His Terrier hockey team decided to pair up with Autism Speaks, in an effort to spread awareness for Autism. For the past 8 years, the team has invited families to private practice sessions, hosted special meet and greets, and built playgrounds to support the Autism community.
For the 2011-2012 hockey season, the Terriers decided to do something different….a little different. The Men’s hockey team decided to put the Blue Autism Speaks Puzzle Piece logo on the shoulder of their jerseys. Most would think that this small gesture wouldn’t mean much, but it has caused a firestorm of attention for the Autism Speaks organization.
Along with the articles that are published when the Terriers get media exposure, the Men’s and Women’s hockey teams have stepped up their game, as well. Not only have they hosted numerous 50/50 nights, advertised throughout the Agganis and Walter Brown arenas, and performed public service announcements on their flagship station 1510 The Zone, but each team member has created an online Puzzlebuilder fundraising page. By visiting www.goterriers.com/autism and clicking on any team member’s name, you can choose a puzzle piece for a $10 donation. This small donation goes towards the team’s goal of $10,000 and helps to raise awareness for Autism.
While the Terrier’s have spent this season skating to raise awareness for Autism, this September they are trading in their skates for some sneakers. The 2012 Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism takes place on September 30, 2012 and the team members are volunteering to help out for this great event. This event is one of many walks that occur across the United States, which is a tremendous fund raiser for Autism Speaks. To date, the 2012 Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism has raised over $17,000.
Please join The Good in Sports in honoring the Boston University hockey teams for all their hard work and efforts, because, whether it’s a young son opening this father’s eyes to a world he never understood before, or the Boston Terrier’s hockey team raising money and awareness to the same world, Autism is becoming a larger part of our lives as it now affects 1 out of 110 children and 1 out of 70 boys.
- To learn more about Autism and how you can help support raising awareness please visit www.goterriers.com/autism or www.autismspeaks.org.