On Wednesday, April 25th, the Hotel Commonwealth’s Fenway Ballroom overlooking the famed ballpark was studded with festive people wearing brightly-colored jerseys from every imaginable sports team for Positive Coaching Alliance-New England’s 2018 signature event– JEANS + JERSEYS: PCA’s Positive Impact Celebration.
Seven Olympians and six pro sports team representatives gathered together with youth, high school, and college athletes, coaches, and parents to support PCA at its celebration of New Englanders who have made a positive impact through sports.
Watch a brief video of the evening's highlights below!
Guests bid on signed jerseys from the Red Sox, Bruins, Cannons, Celtics, Patriots, Revolution, and USA Hockey, displayed on mannequins on loan for the evening from Harvard Football, to help support PCA’s mission to develop Better Athletes, Better People through sports done right.
2018 Positive Impact Sports Leader
Sam Kennedy and the Boston Red Sox for taking the lead to unite five professional sports teams against racism.
2018 Positive Impact Athlete/Executive
Angela Ruggiero for empowering women on the ice and beyond.
2018 Positive Impact Community Hero
Stephanie Potts for inspiring everyone to be their best selves, in memory of her daughter Maddie Potts.
Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship Winners
Mia Arrieta, Dax Billingsley, Travis Grosse, Donnarie Noble, Molly MacFarland, and Danielle Panico, for striving to make themselves, their teammates, and the game better.
Sam, Angela, and Stephanie received glass Simon Pearce Celebration bowls etched, Uniting Against Racism, Empowering Women, and Inspiring Us All, respectively. The six scholarship winners received rounded glass tea lights etched Self · Team · Game.
David Wade, WBZ-TV/CBS Boston News Anchor, interviewed Sam Kennedy and Angela Ruggiero about the impact sports has on helping them become successful leaders and executives, and drew laughs with a playful lightning round seeking their reactions to words like Winning, Losing, Bat Flips, and Team Canada.
NAACP President Tanisha Sullivan introduced Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy.
Kennedy shared how thoughtful, caring people who love Boston came together to develop the ongoing anti-racism initiative, Take the Lead, and the importance of collaboration by the Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Revolution.
Former Harvard athlete and NFL linebacker and Super Bowl Champion Isaiah Kacyvenski introduced his Sports Innovation Lab co-founder Angela Ruggiero, whose incredible list of accomplishments includes NCAA National Champion at Harvard, 4-time Olympic medalist, Hockey Hall of Fame member, first woman to play on the ice in a men’s professional hockey game, humanitarian who holds two degrees from Harvard, and now CEO of the Sports Innovation Lab. After a playful video, which includes a clip of her skating in Fenway Park, Angela talked about what it meant to her to break the ice for women in the rink and beyond, and she shared her love and appreciation for her dad who first brought her to the rink and taught her the rewards of mastering and finding the joy in ice skating!
PCA awarded six high school students with Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarships. After a brief video introduction (seen above), one by one, Mia Arrieta, Dax Billingsley, Travis Grosse, Molly MacFarland, and Danielle Panico introduced themselves and told the audience how sports have made them more confident, more aware, and more passionate about living life fully every day. Donnarie Noble could not attend but received her award at her school on April 27th.
PCA-NE’s Executive Director Beth O’Neill Maloney introduced Stephanie Potts, who with her family, had reached out to PCA after their daughter Maddie’s tragic death in September because PCA’s positive message resonated with this family who had just lost their kind, compassionate, athletic daughter, Maddie. After a brief video showing Maddie #forever11 on the field and in life, Stephanie brought the audience to tears, and to their feet, when she related what a beautiful person her daughter Maddie was, and how she is committed to share Maddie’s story so that she can continue to inspire others.
Triple-impact Competitor Scholarship winner Mia Arrieta shared how she is inspired to be her best self, and do the right thing, following #WhatWouldMaddieDo, because of her experience playing against Maddie Potts in the game in which she collapsed, and in getting to know Maddie after her death as a powerfully positive athlete and person through her family, Stephanie, Dan, and Julia Potts. When Mia concluded her thoughtful remarks, the audience rose to its feet once again in a standing ovation.
We hope you are inspired. PCA and the Potts family will present the Maddie Potts/PCA Coaching Symposium at Brown University this fall. That symposium will be supported in part by the sale of #11 jerseys, still available, a signed Rafael Devers #11 jersey!
Special thanks to PCA sponsors: Presenting Sponsor-New Balance; MVP Sponsor-Deloitte; All-Star sponsors-Boston Bruins, Boston Cannons, Fenway Sports Management, and Fidelity Investments; Media Sponsor-WBZ-TV/CBS Boston; and Sponsors-Good Sport Media, Harvard Football, New England Patriots Foundation, New England Revolution, PSAV, and Simon Pearce. Thank you to those who have supported PCA with a purchase of jerseys, experiences, golden tickets—to a Celtics playoffs game, and donations.
We look forward to continuing to celebrate, inspire, and share the power of sports to make a positive impact!