Sometimes the biggest goals aren't scored on the ice.
This past week, the VJW '99 Select team came together to take part in its annual fundraiser called the "Turkey Bowl". This year's cause was both important and personal.
Patrick Driscoll, the uncle of two young Warrior players – Bret Blackwell ('99 Selects) and Drew Blackwell (Mite Minors) – was recently diagnosed with Myelofibrosis and is in need of a matching bone donor. In order to help Patrick in his valiant fight, the Warrior players dedicated their Turkey Bowl fundraiser to help raise money for the Be The Match Foundation (www.marrow.org). All funds raised help patients afford transplants, find matching donors and further medical research to help find a cure.
With Patrick Driscoll's battle in mind, the
Warrior players took on the responsibility of securing sponsors and
then hit the ice in hopes of raising as much money as possible. Each
player was given the opportunity to throw three frozen turkeys at a set
of 10 pins. They received points for each pin knocked down. In the
end, the team raised nearly \$2,500 for the Be The Match Foundation.
"I could not be any prouder of our team," said Mark Lester, head
coach of the VJW '99 Selects. "This was our most successful fundraiser
to date and we couldn't think of a more worthy cause."
Through the years, the Turkey Bowl has
raised critical funds for numerous charities such as the Santa Fund,
Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Cell Phones for Soldiers. This year,
however, it was especially personal.
"I think that our players really took the cause to heart because it involves our family," said Lester.
Making the event even more special was the
presence of Patrick Driscoll (who brought his 18-month-old son Owen
along) who addressed the team following the Turkey Bowl festivities.
"He made it perfectly clear how appreciative he was and simply put...
he told our players that what they have done with their efforts will
potentially save a life. Even at 10 and 11 years old, each and every
player fully understood the meaning of what this event involved."
From day one, the Warriors have used that
type of commitment and dedication to impress both on and off the ice.
Thus far, the team has posted 21 wins and scored 167 goals in Mass
State Select League play. This latest "victory", however, is what truly
defines the young team.
"They are compassionate, respectful and resilient boys and it is no accident that they are a strong hockey team."
To learn more about how you can help Patrick Driscoll and others who are in need of a bone marrow donor, click here or visit www.marrow.org.