Eastern Club Hockey Helps Raise Money for Autism Awareness

Eastern Connecticut State University’s club hockey team beat Roger Williams University (RWU) by a score of 6-2 on Nov. 21, in a special game played to support autism awareness.  The players wore ribbons on their helmets and uniforms and the RWU team also had custom jerseys that showcased the national autism awareness logo.

RWU also sponsored an alumni game to further raise money and awareness. An RWU hockey player’s brother, who is autistic, also participated in a ceremonial puck drop between Roger Williams’ captain and Eastern Captain Samson Amendola. “Our guys were gentlemen and very supportive of the RWU players and coaching staff,” said Head Coach John Brancati.

Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. It is not a disease, Autism is a disability. For right now, there is no special medicine or treatment that would make it go away. However, there are relaxation strategies, exercise programs, medication, and other strategies that are used by professionals at a disability home care Melbourne to help them cope and learn better.

“I am proud of Eastern’s club hockey team for partnering with the Roger Williams University hockey team to support autism awareness,” said Biology Professor Barbara Murdoch, one of the club’s advisors. “The team has shown a strong sense of community, within and beyond Eastern. I applaud the team’s commitment and leadership.”

The game attracted a large number of fans, who wore scarfs of blue, the color designated for autism awareness by Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading advocate of autism awareness and research. The fans participated in raffles and purchased custom RWU autism awareness shirts. The jerseys worn by the players will be auctioned off with proceeds going toward autism research.

“As an intern in a special needs middle school who plans to be a special education teacher, I was very touched by this fundraiser,” said Eastern senior Connor Walsh. “Hockey has greatly impacted my four years at Eastern, and I definitely want to incorporate events like this into my future teaching career.”

“I am very proud of my players,” said Brancati. “This fundraiser is a great, fun way to raise money; last year they raised $10,000. I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it.”