MILTON, Mass. - The Curry College Athletic Department recently partnered with Team IMPACT to welcome Sean Bennett as an honorary captain of the Curry Colonels Hockey Team. Bennett, 12, from nearby Brighton, Mass. was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in December of 2010.
An avid sports player and fan even before he became ill, Sean has recently participated in events with the Jimmy Fund, celebrated his birthday at Home Run Day at Fenway, and was interviewed by WEEI during the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Now he is working with Team IMPACT, a non-profit devoted to providing support for children affected by life-threatening illnesses through engagement with college sports teams.
On Friday, January 27, at the Ulin Memorial Rink in Milton, the Curry Men's Hockey team welcomed Sean as an honorary captain and gave him his very own jersey emblazoned with the number 16. Accompanied by his parents, Pat and Lynne, Sean was presented with a cake and banner after some bonding time with the team out on the ice. Pat Bennett was elated to see his son in action.
"It is just great to get him back out there involved in sports again," said Bennett. "It's been a long time since he has done anything active. He was very excited about meeting the players."
The Curry Athletic Department was equally enthusiastic about forming this partnership. Athletic Director Vinnie Eruzione realizes the significance of this kind of commitment, both for the team as well as for Sean.
"The reaction from our players has been very positive," said Eruzione. "It gives them the opportunity to look beyond X's and O's - wins and losses - and really see what it important in life."
Before hitting the ice to practice his skating, Sean was suited up by forward Ian Delong, and later scored against goalie Joe Dawson, who was honored to be part of Sean's experience.
"We feel lucky that we can have a kid like this in here to give him a chance," says Dawson. "He is fighting hard for his life so it's awesome to give him this opportunity to skate with us, as a recognized member of our team."