WORCESTER, Mass. - At a press conference at the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (SWNIC), Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College of the Holy Cross and Richard Regan '76, director of athletics at the College, announced two new football ticket programs, specially designed for Worcester children and residents of the city. Joining Fr. Boroughs and Regan in making today's announcement were Mayor Joseph Petty; City Manager Michael V. O'Brien; and Ron Charette, executive director of SWNIC.
In the first new program, special tickets to the Holy Cross night game against the University of New Hampshire (on Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m.) are being made available to Worcester children free of charge. Anyone can purchase the special tickets for $8 each and they will be donated to partner organizations for distribution to children. Holy Cross Athletics ticket buyers and alumni will be informed of the new program when they order season and single game tickets, and the College anticipates that up to 1,000 children will receive tickets.
Holy Cross is partnering with Nativity School of Worcester, South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, and other youth organizations across the city to distribute the tickets to children.
This is the second-ever night football game in Holy Cross history. Last year, approximately 16,000 fans were at Fitton Field for the night game against UMass.
In another Worcester-focused program, Holy Cross will offer 2012 football season tickets to Worcester residents (first-time buyers only) at a special price of $30. Season tickets are regularly priced at $78.
"Our first night game last year generated enormous excitement on campus and throughout the city. It was a great family-friendly atmosphere, and we expect that football fans from throughout the area will return to Fitton Field for another exciting contest. We are delighted that we have the opportunity to welcome more Worcester families to campus through these two programs," says Fr. Boroughs. "I'm sure Crusader football fans and alumni will help support the latest in our many initiatives connecting the College to our hometown by purchasing the tickets that will go to Nativity School students, South Worcester residents, and other children from the city."
"This offering is yet another example of the many initiatives borne out of the successful community partnership between the College of the Holy Cross and the City of Worcester," says O'Brien. "A creative and engaging venture, these new ticket purchase programs will serve to expand the popular Crusader football fan-base while providing our City's youth with the opportunity to experience the excitement and community spirit that emanates from cheering on their home team from the stands at Fitton Field."
"Holy Cross continues to engage and reach out to the City to create a real sense of community," says Petty. "Once again Holy Cross has created a very exciting opportunity for the children and residents of Worcester. Holy Cross has a long proud tradition of bringing premier athletics to the city. This generous offering will continue to create further excitement in Worcester about their college football program."
The press conference was also attended by Holy Cross staff, eight Holy Cross students who are running the SWNIC summer camp, the Crusader mascot, and children from Nativity School of Worcester and South Worcester. The children attending had a chance to toss around the football with Holy Cross football players Pat Restrepo '15 (Chester Springs, Pa.), Gary Acquah '14 (Bronx, N.Y.), Jon Smith '14 (Matawan, N.J.) and Irvin Scott '14 (Brookline, Mass.)
For the past 10 years Holy Cross students have run the summer camp at SWNIC. The Holy Cross students are in charge of organizing daily activities, supervising teenage workers, and mentoring. There are 68 children at the camp this summer.
Student-Athletes in the Community
Student-athletes and coaches participate in a variety of activities in the local community throughout the year. Nearly half of the football team volunteers through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Members of the football team visit various elementary and middle schools in Worcester county to play "Trivia for Tickets," where students answer football-related questions in exchange for tickets to an upcoming Crusader home game on Fitton Field.
The football team also holds an annual Price Chopper Kids' Day for Worcester-area youth. The Crusaders hold a free pregame clinic for kids aged 13 and children also get into the day's game for $1. This year's Price Chopper Kids' Day will be Oct. 6, when Holy Cross takes on Bucknell.
The team also hosts and attends a number of events for cancer awareness, including a Pink Zone game, where players wear pink shoe laces.
Members of the team also host an annual Bone Marrow Testing Drive. Holy Cross has teamed up with the "Be The Match" program in their effort to recruit new members to the marrow registry. The Holy Cross drive allows area residents, faculty, staff and students to join the registry and possibly help thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases to find a match.
Ongoing Holy Cross/City of Worcester Collaborations
Earlier this year, Holy Cross and the city of Worcester announced a five-year partnership to fund an educational, multi-media mobile library and resource center for the Worcester Public Library. As part of the agreement, Holy Cross is contributing $80,000 annually for the next five years for the library's operation.
In its first month on the road, more than 1,000 items were checked out of the Library Express, affectionately known as Libby, which visits various parts of the city of Worcester from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. View the schedule on the Worcester Public Library website.
This summer, Holy Cross has also partnered with the City of Worcester on a number of programs, including supporting Wheels to Water and the Cookson Park stewardship program; and as a sponsor of Concert on the Common at City Hall. For the eighth summer, the College also provides Fitton Field rent-free to the Worcester Tornadoes professional baseball team. Throughout the year, Holy Cross provides operational and financial support to the Worcester Public Schools and the neighborhood revitalization efforts in South Worcester; and sponsors, with ongoing contributions from faculty, staff, students, and the Jesuit community, the operation of the Nativity School of Worcester.
To order tickets visit the Fan Center or call the Holy Cross Ticket Office at (508) 793-2573.
For more information on these special programs, contact Frank Mastrandrea, assistant athletic director, or call the Holy Cross Ticket Office at (508) 793-2573.