Friday Fundraiser to Benefit Paralyzed Norwood High Hockey Player
April 27, 2010
by Jim Fenton
Enterprise Staff Writer
She remembers the time when her Stonehill College women's basketball team was minutes away from starting a NCAA Div. 2 tournament game.
Skyhawks coach Trisha Brown was concentrating on last-minute details a couple of years ago when her attention was diverted to her nephew, Matt, as he made his way to the stands.
"He came into the gym wearing purple shorts (for Stonehill) and had ‘S' painted on his chest," said Trisha Brown. "Here he was, 5-foot-8, weighing 100 pounds soaking wet and he got dressed like that to support us.
"I had to stop looking a him so that I could stop laughing and get ready for the game. That's the kind of kid he is with a wonderful sense of humor."
Matt Brown was there to support his aunt's team, and now the 16-year-old Norwood High School sophomore is receiving support from not only the Stonehill community, but countless others.
Brown was paralyzed during a Jan. 23 hockey game between Norwood and Weymouth in Hingham when he hit the boards.
He has been in Atlanta at the Shepherd Center, one of the top facilities in the nation for treating spinal cord injuries, since the middle of February after undergoing surgery in Boston.
On Friday night, a fundraiser to benefit Brown (pictured right- photo courtesy of www.mattbrownnumber3.org) will be held at the Fidelity Club East at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Tickets, which are $50, for the Matt Brown Rehab and Recovery Fund are available through the Stonehill athletic department.
Special guests expected to be on hand include former Boston Bruins Ray Bourque, Terry O'Reilly, Bob Sweeney and Tom Songin; 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey hero Mike Eruzione; former New England Patriots Pete Brock and Joe Andruzzi and former boxers Vinny Paz and Micky Ward.
Trisha Brown said the that support her family, including Matt's parents, Michael and Sue, has received has been incredible since the injury occurred.
"You can't even put it into words," said Trisha Brown, who has been the Skyhawks coach since 2001. "From the town of Norwood to the hockey community to the people at Stonehill for me, it's just been overwhelming. There is no way to thank everyone for what they've done.
"The people here at Stonehill have been phenomenal. The support they have shown for me and Matt and our family has been unbelievable. There was a Mass for Matt on campus the first week and there has been so much generosity."
Trisha Brown visited her nephew in Atlanta earlier this month, helping him celebrate his 16th birthday on April 11.
"Things are going well," she said. "He's making slow and steady good progress. When I was there, he moved his left forearm. It was really encouraging.
"He's an amazing kid. I know I'm a biased aunt, but he's just been amazing. He has a great sense of humor. He's the one making you laugh every time you see him because of his sense of humor.
"They've pushed back his ‘graduation' date in Atlanta and that's a good thing. If you are making steady progress, they keep you longer, so he's going to be down there a little bit longer."
Brown's Stonehill team showed its support for Matt during its season. One of the Norwood High hockey players made T-shirts with the name "Brown" and his No. 3 on it, and the Skyhawks wore those during warmups.
They also wore blue shoelaces (Norwood's color) during the NCAA tournament in March.
Among the numerous gifts that will be auctioned off on Friday night are the rental for a four-bedroom house in Ireland, four Green Monster tickets for a Red Sox game, four club seats for a Red Sox-Yankees game with autographed Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez game shirts and a Wade Boggs autographed bat, a trip to Cancun, a private tour of the White House, two tickets for a Celtics game next season with a signed ball from the 2008 championship team and a round of golf with Eruzione.
For more information on Friday night's fundraiser, go to www.mattbrownnumber3.org
Cards and letters for Matt Brown can be sent to the Shepherd Center, Room 425, 2020 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Ga., 30309.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.