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B's Fan Donates 50/50 Winnings back to Bruins Foundation

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – The sights and sounds outside the TD Garden before Game 4 of the B’s Stanley Cup Final series with the Vancouver Canucks provided an electric atmosphere that  would enthrall even a non-hockey lover.

But mixed among the Black & Gold fans hungry for a Stanley Cup was a not-so-typical Bruins fan.

Joyce Eby was born in raised in Braintree and is a life-long Bruins fan. A season ticket holder married to a reformed Flyers fan, Eby seems like you’re typical fan. But following the Bruins 8-1 win in Game 3 on Monday night, Eby did something not every fan would.

Eby was the lucky winner of the Boston Bruins Foundation 50/50 raffle during Game 3. The Foundation donated the proceeds from the raffle to the Red Cross to assist in tornado relief in Western Massachusetts. Parts of Western Mass., specifically Springfield, were affected by the tornadoes that ravaged the state last week.

Eby won a cash prize of $10,000 dollars from the 50/50, but instead of taking it home and investing, spending or banking it, she gave the money right back to the Bruins Foundation, with the request that it also be donated to the Red Cross. 

“It was the right thing, the best thing to do. We didn’t have this money before, so we won’t know any different so hopefully it will make a difference for other people, that’s what we hope to achieve,” Eby said of her decision.

Eby and her husband, Steve, typically buy their 50/50 raffle tickets early in the night, but for some reason, Eby waited until the third period to purchase her tickets.

“I just felt a huge overwhelming conviction to get those tickets. I think it was from above, I just think somebody was telling me upstairs to go and buy those tickets,” she said.

Eby was in the restroom when the winning ticket announcement was made, and was in shock when her husband told her they had won the $10,000 prize.

“I didn’t believe him and sure enough we [won] and we were just kind of in shock and, we got to the car then decided that we were going to pay it forward, just give the money back and help the victims of the tornado,” she said.

The gesture was well thought-out by the Eby family and thankfully received by the Boston Bruins Foundation.

Director of Development for the Boston Bruins Foundation, Bob Sweeney, was surprised when he got the news that the 50/50 winners wanted to donate the money back, and said the gesture was proof of the big hearts of B’s fans.

“It’s not very often you find people like Joyce that are willing to give back and it was our biggest 50/50 of the year and it was just a great testament to her and her husband to donate that money back,” Sweeney said.

While the Bruins Foundation was delighted to receive the $10,000 donation, Sweeney wanted to be able to give something to the Eby family in exchange for their generosity.

Yesterday, prior to Boston’s 4-0 win over the Canucks in Game 4, Sweeney stood outside TD Garden, in front of the Bobby Orr statue alongside the Eby's. In front of the swarms of Black & Gold clad fans surrounding the Garden, Sweeney presented Eby and her husband with a team signed Bruins jersey in honor of their commitment to help those affected by the storm that ravaged Western Massachusetts.

“I think that’s the least that we can of on behalf of the bruins. To have people like them come support the bruins and tBen support out initiative, in particular the funds raised for the Red Cross,” Sweeney said.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to have people like this and that’s the least we can do.”

When she made the decision to donate the money, Eby never imagined she’d be standing alongside Sweeney and the Bobby Orr statue, receiving a gift from the Bruins Foundation.

“This whole day has been completely overwhelming,” she said.  “It’s like your five minutes of fame. “
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