Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Terriers stand up for Autism Speaks

Hockey Team Continues Its Commitment To Autism Speaks;
Fans Can Donate In This Sunday’s Autism Walk

By Ed Carpenter, former Assistant Athletic Director of Communications

It all began over breakfast at T. Anthony’s.

It was the summer of 2004, and I was still working in the Terrier athletic department. As had been my custom since being named the sports information director in 1977, I ventured up Babcock Street to Comm Ave. and headed to T Anthony’s for breakfast.

There, to my surprise and delight, sat old friend Larry Cancro, who is now the Boston Red Sox Senior Vice President of Fenway Affairs. He had stopped at T’s before going to work and was enjoying his breakfast.

I had known Larry for nearly 30 years and was convinced there was no greater Terrier hockey fan anywhere. His love of Terrier hockey dated back to his days as a BU undergraduate. A 1977 graduate, he covered the Terrier hockey team for the Daily Free Press. He was good friends with Mike Eruzione and Ricky Meagher.

If anything, this bond has grown stronger over the years. I remember back in the late Seventies sitting in my office after Terrier hockey games and getting calls from Larry. At the time, he was working for the Atlanta Braves and he wanted a full report on how the team did that night. The call from Atlanta would come in around 11:30 pm and we would talk for at least on hour…all about the Terrier hockey team.

On this particular morning more than five years ago, I joined Larry for breakfast at T. Anthony’s, and as you can imagine, talk was directed about the hockey team.

“Coach (Parker) is looking for a charity for the team to support,” I reported to him.

“What about autism?” Larry asked.

It did not surprise me that Larry would respond that way, for one of his daughters, Lisa, was diagnosed with autism when she was an infant. Today, she is 19 years old and still suffers from this dreaded disorder.

“Why don’t you write a letter to the Coach and suggest it?” I said.
“I will,” he countered. And, the rest, as they say, is history.

“It was serendipity,” Larry now says. “It is wonderful.”

Over the years, the Terriers have been actively involved supporting Autism Speaks. On occasion, they have donated the 50-50 raffle held at each BU home game to Autism Speaks. Announcements are made regarding Autism Speaks at Terrier games and during radio broadcasts on WWZN.

BU players have given their time to enhance the lives of others through special projects like the installation of a playground (photo) at Melmark, New England, a school specializing in autism. They've also hosted children that have autism and their families at some of their practices and at BU Women’s Hockey games.
And, the Terrier have been involved with the Autism Walks.

Which brings us to the point of this story.

This Sunday, October 18th, the 9th Annual Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism will be held at the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in East Boston. The Terrier hockey team will be there. Not as walkers but as major helpers to make sure the event is run smoothly.

Organizers expect more than 530 teams to show up and more than $650,000 has already been raised.

YOU CAN DO YOUR PART BY SUPPORTING A TERRIER HOCKEY PLAYER AT THIS EVENT. From this page, select your favorite player or players, or if you so choose, make a general donation in the name of the Terrier hockey team. Even though the hockey players aren’t committed to walking around the mile-and-a-quarter track, they will be there representing the team, and the team’s commitment to Autism Speaks.

“It seems natural that the hockey team would be involved with Autism,” said Cancro, who among his other responsibilities is Chairman of Autism Speaks New England. “Boston University is one of five schools in the country that coordinates autism research in the United States. And, as a result, the University receives grants from Autism Speaks.

“Nineteen years ago, when my daughter was born, one in 10,000 youngsters were diagnosed with autism. Today, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), one in 150 youngsters are diagnosed with autism.

“And, Autism Speaks specializes in care and research of autism and provides information for families who have autistic children.

“I will be forever indebted to Coach Parker and the Terrier hockey team for all they have done over the years,” concluded Cancro.

Larry Cancro is doing is part for Autism Speaks. Jack Parker and the Terrier hockey team are doing their parts for Autism speaks.

Click here to learn more about Autism Speaks and then donate on behalf of your favorite Terrier hockey player. Thank you!!!!

Ed Carpenter served Boston University as Assistant Athletic Director of Communications from 1977 through 2005. The Terrier Hockey Team annually hands an award in his name to the player who has scored the most points. ___________________________________________________________

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