Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rematch for a Good Cause

Full disclosure: I know about this story because it involves my second cousin, once removed. As we continue to explore social responsibility at organizations in our Giving Back series in Convene, this story reminds me that charity starts with one individual before it can spread to an organization. And also, just as the best CSR programs connect with their organization's own goals, people are most inspired to give back to causes that have touched their lives. That, and every once in a while, you can turn back the clock.

So, for the story: You need to go back to 1989, when New Jersey's No. 1 ranked high school hockey team, St. Joseph Regional (that's the team in the photo above, with my cousin Dave in the second row), made it to the state finals to play against the state's No. 2 ranked team, The Delbarton School. Just as excitement for the match was reaching a feverish pitch, it was announced on the eve of the game that it was canceled — done in by a measles outbreak at Delbarton.

Flash forward 21 years to the present — and this weekend, when nearly all (40 of the original 46) high school players from those two teams will play a reunion match. Proceeds from the event will go to three cancer charities (one in honor of one of the players' mother, who is battling brain cancer). "That was critical to making this event meaningful," one of the players, James Olsen, told The New York Times. "We're going to do some real tangible good for people who are suffering. I like the fact that people are going to use this opportunity to support a good cause."

For the full story, go to

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