Boston University's Executive Director of Athletics and Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach, Jack Parker, began a department-wide initiative in 2004 where every team was to embrace a charity of its choice. The men's ice hockey team selected Autism Speaks.
Since then, the hockey team consistently promotes autism awareness at games and participates in the annual Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism. In addition, they hold fundraising events, autism awareness nights and garner media coverage. Their efforts include hosting 50/50 raffles, advertising in team programs, media guides, and the arena concourse, and broadcasting public service announcements on Terrier Athletics' flagship radio station, 1510 The Zone. The team, in partnership with Melmark New England, has also supported the local autism community by building a playground and bringing students to BU athletic events.
“Working with Autism Speaks has been a beneficial and eye-opening experience for our team. We better understand the challenges that families of children with autism face, and we're happy to help and have fun with the kids,” said Jack Parker.
“The BU hockey team has been an active leader in public advocacy through their autism awareness nights. They have been involved with our families providing one-on-one activities for children with autism and assisting with our events,” said Vin Goglia, Executive Director, Autism Speaks' New England Chapter. “We hope that this experience will carry forth as they graduate and continue to volunteer for Autism Speaks.”
Boston University has one of the finest autism research centers in the world and its Department of Athletics is proud to partner with Autism Speaks in the fight against autism.
BU ice hockey players assist with the building of a playground for children with autism.
From left to right: Larry Cancro (President, New England Chapter, Autism Speaks), Lisa Cancro and Jack Parker