Good sport of Pats fame lends hand for Haitian aid.
Byline: Jay Gearan
GARDNER – Forward in Health, a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to improve the health conditions and dignity of the
people of Fonde Fred, Haiti, got a big boost of donations from the
appearance of former New England Patriots star Troy Brown recently
at a local store.
Hundreds of fans streamed in lines that extended inside, outside
and around the corner of Anthony’s Liquor Mart at Pearson
Football fans were able to get an
autograph, a handshake and an autographed photo from Brown.
In addition, Patriots cheerleader Siobhan O’Keefe was at the
store, signing autographs and also selling the New England Patriots
Cheerleader Calendar. Proceeds from T-shirt and key ring sales went
to Forward in Health.
So big was the crowd that local police were hired to help direct
traffic into and out of the store’s parking lot.
Working with Dr. John Mulqueen, the founder of Forward in
Health, Jim Kraskouskas, owner of Anthony’s Liquor Mart, arranged
for Brown’sappearance in conjunction with Narragansett Brewing
Also at Brown’s fundraiser appearance, two new Forward in Health
wine labels were introduced for sale at Anthony’s Liquor Mart, a
Sauvignon Blanc and a Malbec. Profits from sales of the wines went
to Forward in Health.
As part of the fundraising day at the store, several local
cheerleading squads, including high school and Pop Warner groups,
were invited and got a chance to have their photos taken with the
Brown, who is the
Football Hall of Fame, is a former
star cornerback with the Patriots. He played his entire 15-year
career with New England, was on three Super Bowl championship teams
and retiredas the franchise leader in career receptions.
Many fans who lined up for Brown’s autograph recalled perhaps
the player’s finest moment on the gridiron during the 2006 AFC
DivisionalPlayoff game when Brown stripped away a fumble from a San
Diego player, triggering the Patriots’ late-game rally and eventual
“We were pleased to help Dr. Mulqueen and his great
organization, Forward in Health,” Kraskouskas said.
On its website, forwardinhealth.org, Dr. Mulqueen explained the
recent work of his organization:
“April 2010 found the third medical team heading off to Haiti
since the earthquake, representing Forward In Health. The team
spent one week in the Les Cayes region of Haiti, providing general
medical careto children and adults. In addition to the general
medical care offered, a surgical team made up of nurses, orthopedic
and OB-GYN doctorsworked at the hospital in Les Cayes, performing
much-needed surgeries. This overwhelming need for surgeries
encountered during this trip is what lead us to include a surgical
wing to our construction plans.
“Since the earthquake, the medical need in Haiti has increased
beyond our worst nightmare. Although the need for acute emergency
care has passed, the more immediate care is not only for the crush
injuriesand amputations but also for the emotional toll this trauma
has taken on the Haitian children and adults with many of them
losing their entire families. These issues in addition to what was
already a lack of even basic medical care, will be the driving
force behind our work for many years to come. Forward In Health was
working in Haiti beforethe earthquake, providing emergency care
within one week of the tragedy, and we will be providing life
saving care for years to come.”
PHOTOG: JAY GEARAN
CUTLINE: From left, Patriots cheerleader Siobhan O’Keefe, Jim
Kraskouskas of Anthony’s Liquor Mart and former Patriots cornerback