Holy Cross Donates Free Tickets to Memorial Middle School Athletes, Families
FITCHBURG -- Dream big.
That’s the message from Memorial Middle School psychologist Beth Foley, as the Memorial boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will get an up-close and personal look at the Holy Cross Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball teams on Jan. 12 in Worcester. The student-athletes from Memorial will also be able to get on the court and compete during halftime.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for these Fitchburg student-athletes, who get a chance to dream big in hopes of attending college and potentially playing the sport they love at a high level.
The Memorial players, coaches and families will get to attend the Holy Cross games for free in January.
Foley couldn’t help but be thankful for what Holy Cross and Director of Athletics Marketing Dan Mercurio have done for these Memorial players.
“I want to thank Holy Cross, Dan Mercurio, the coaches and players of both the men’s and women’s teams for helping me take this from an idea last year to a reality this year,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without their help and support.”
Foley’s dad, Thomas, is a Holy Cross men’s season-ticket holder, and the idea of attending a Crusaders game started last year, she said.
“I was at a game with him over Christmas vacation last year, and they brought some middle-school students out at halftime and I turned to my dad and said, ‘My kids (Memorial students) would love this.’”
Of course, Foley’s father thought it was a fantastic idea, too.
So Foley reached out to Mercurio to inquire about her students potentially attending a game.
“Unfortunately, it was too late for last year,” Foley said.
So Foley asked if some Holy Cross players could attend Memorial last spring, and that happened in April when women’s players Tricia Byrne and Miranda Nixon spoke to 28 Memorial Middle School basketball players in the cafeteria about working hard, both in the classroom and on the court.
“The players who visited Memorial last spring also stressed the importance of grades and hard work,” Foley said. “Most of them are on scholarships and explained how much that was worth in dollar value to them and their parents.”
Foley continued to email Mercurio throughout the spring and summer, asking for help to schedule the Memorial boys’ and girls’ hoops team to attend a collegiate game.
Holy Cross and Mercurio made attending a game a reality, along with letting the young players lace up their sneakers and touch the hardwood during halftime.
The fun doesn’t end there, either.
“Both teams will meet with the coaches and players and have a tour of the campus,” Foley said. “The halftime scrimmage will be televised.”
Foley also requested tickets for coaches and family members because “I know we are a poverty district.”
Mercurio stepped up and was able to secure the extra tickets, which were donated by Pepsi.
This basketball trip into Worcester is all about dreaming big, working hard and making those dreams a reality.
“I want to give Memorial students an experience that they can see and feel to link the importance of good grades to a college future,” Foley said. “Many of the students don’t have a frame of reference for college and how it is different than school now. I want Memorial students to think beyond Memorial and high school and to know they can have any future they dream of if they are willing to work for it.”