Contact: Andrew Brownsword (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boston, MA – The Travis Roy Foundation and hundreds of hockey-playing supporters across the country raised over $800,000 for spinal cord injury survivors in the just completed Charity Hockey Challenge season. With events in Boston, New York and Chicago, this was the biggest charity hockey season yet in the Foundation’s 20+ year history.
“The hockey community in Boston has always been so supportive and generous of our mission to raise money for spinal cord injury survivors. This year hockey players – young and old, men and women – in New York and Chicago have added to that great story,” said Travis Roy, the former Boston University hockey player who was paralyzed during his first college game and the founder of the Travis Roy Foundation.
The Boston men’s event, called the Beanpot Charity Hockey Challenge and played on February 11th, is the longest running Travis Roy Foundation hockey event celebrating its 11th year this year. “This year, we had more than 80 guys ranging in age from 25 to 65 playing in one of three pick-up hockey games at Agganis Arena, having fun and raising money for a great cause,” said Dan Ronan the primary event organizer, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and one of Travis’ teammates at Boston University.
In the past two years, the Boston area has also supported a Junior Beanpot Charity Hockey Challenge (3rd year) and a Women’s Beanpot event (2nd year). “For the junior event held on February 24th, we hosted 12 local youth hockey teams from Mites to Bantams. Many players and their families got involved in fundraising by selling 50/50 raffle tickets ahead of the event. In addition to great youth hockey games, both players and their families learned that you can make a difference in others’ lives simply by playing hockey. The kids love it!” said Lisa Gurdin who, along with her son Jacob, started the Junior Beanpot in 2017.”
The women’s event, in its second year, grew to two games played by over 40 players at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. The women then gathered to watch the Women’s Beanpot championship game, which was won by BU. “Women’s hockey is really popular here in New England. And whether you heard about Travis while playing as a younger person or picked up the story later in life, Travis’ work to help others is an easy one to rally around. We had a snowstorm the afternoon of the event and our participants still showed up to play!” said Jane Kalinski, the primary organizer of the Women’s Beanpot Charity Hockey Challenge.
The Charity Hockey Challenge Season kicked off in November in Chicago with an inaugural event played at the United Center in downtown Chicago. The primary local organizer was Jacques Joubert, a member of the Boston University National Championship team of 1995 and number 24 before Travis wore the same number for the Terriers. “No matter where you live in the United States, if you know hockey, you know Travis. And if you know Travis’ story, you want to help spinal cord injury survivors,” said Jacques Joubert.
The final event of the season was the New York Charity Hockey Challenge played at Madison Square Garden on February 27th. The primary organizer in New York, Scott Litner, became involved in the Foundation and the Boston event years ago after his father suffered a spinal cord injury after a fall. “Spinal cord injuries can strike anybody as a result of very random accidents. From one day to the next you can go from leading a healthy, normal life to being paralyzed and needing 24-hour care and assistance. Travis is working hard to help those with spinal cord injuries live more independent and hopeful lives,” said Scott Litner.
One more event will bring our charity hockey season to an end. On March 15th, teams from Eaton Vance, Natixis, MFS, Putnam Investments, Wellington Management, UBS, State Street and Fidelity will play the Commonwealth Cup, otherwise known as the Finance Championship of Boston. The Commonwealth Cup, in its 5th year, partly benefits the Travis Roy Foundation.
The Foundation has many people to thank for this amazing Charity Hockey Challenge season. Primary among them would be the organizations and venues that supported the events – the Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center, Boston University’s Agganis Arena, Harvard University’s Bright Landry Arena, the New England Sports Center, the New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden. The events were also sponsored, in part, by the Winn Companies of Boston and Wolverine Execution Services of Chicago.
About the Travis Roy Foundation
The Travis Roy Foundation (TRF) was established in 1997 as a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of spinal cord injury survivors and their caregivers. Travis Roy launched his namesake foundation two years after surviving a catastrophic injury in his first and only hockey game playing for Boston University. Since that time, the Boston-based TRF has awarded more than 1,500 Quality of Life grants to individuals across the United States who have experienced a spinal cord injury, helping them lead more independent lives. Simultaneously, the TRF’s research grants fund scientists working tirelessly to find a breakthrough in the world of spinal cord injuries. Funding for the Travis Roy Foundation’s philanthropic efforts comes from individuals, corporations and foundations across North America.