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Valley Hockey League
Pete's Christmas Gift

 

Pete Frates drew his last breath in early December, but he is still with us and will remain with many for quite some time. We all know Pete's story, his daily courageous joust with ALS was felt by folks from preschool to those in their nineties and beyond. Pete Frates was a star on the North Shore, first in Beverly, then at St. John's Prep (Football, Hockey and Baseball) and eventually at Boston College where many said goodbye to their teammate, classmate and friend on a Friday in mid-December.

Pete Frates had an impact on those he knew and, more importantly, to those he never met. Pete touched and gave hope to millions of lives while raising over 220 million dollars for ALS research through his Ice Bucket Challenge. ALS is commonly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Someday it is hoped it will be known as "Pete Frates' Cure," as his brother Andrew so eloquently put it. Pete was a giant of a man at Boston College - tall, handsome, rugged, captain of the baseball team, but never too tall to say hello, help a young student, attend Mass or be a mentor. Pete intersected with many of the students and faculty before ALS impacted HIS life.

As one softball player wrote to me after Pete died, "He was obviously the big man on campus. So good looking. All American kid, he had it all. Any other guy like him would just walk past me in the hall. But not Pete. He would stop and chit chat and I was blown away because I was a nobody, but Pete never made me feel like that. He made me feel special and I will never forget that. He was so genuine and that is how I want to lead my life. That is what I will remember the most about Pete."

As Father Tony Penna stated at Pete's funeral, "Pete's goodness is seeping into all of us. Pete lived his life with honor, he had an impact on all of us. Pete Frates deserves a place at the banquet table of the saints. Imagine if all of us lived our lives with the lessons learned from how Pete lived his life?"

On the back of the program at Pete's service there was a photo of Pete holding up the Baseball Beanpot Trophy at Fenway Park. Below the photo was Pete's Affirmation. "Be Passionate, Be Genuine, Be Hard Working - And Don't Ever Be Afraid To Be Great." What a gift for all of us from a uniquely gifted man!