For two reasons April 20 was a special day in the lives of many people at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. That day, the Eastern soccer program raised $2,000 for the national "Be the Match Marrow Donor Program through a Goal-A-Thon Event, and also welcomed Tyler Belfleur as a permanent member of the program, in conjunction with the Team IMPACT! program. Members of the team solicited sponsorship for the Goal-A-Thon from family, friends and members of the Eastern and surrounding communities. Members and former members of the program were divided into teams of four to six players, and the teams played small-sided games until a combined total of 100 goals were scored.
Prior to the event, team members were introduced at mid-field, along with the 15-year-old Belfleur, who earlier in the day was "drafted" as the newest member of the program. A native of Canterbury, Belfleur continues his recovery from a brain injury sustained in an ATV accident last June. In recent months, he has progressed from being wheelchair-bound to using a walker and then a crutch. When meeting the team for the first time on April 20, Belfleur was able to walk on his own. Accompanying Belfleur were his parents, Steve Ball and Danielle Laguerre. (For more news on Eastern athletics, visit www.easternct.edu/athletics.)