Tewksbury, MA - After another double session day on the ice, the boys of the sixth annual Boston Bruins development camp took to Greater Boston to get to know the members of the community.
At the Tewksbury Public Library, 10 prospects played outdoor games, made dream catchers in arts and crafts, and read books to children who are members of the library’s “Summer Reading Program." Among the group were Matt Benning, Colin Campbell, Chris Casto, Brian Ferlin, Zane Gothberg, Matt Grzelcyk, Colton Hargrove, Adam Morrison, Ben Sexton and Malcolm Subban.
“The Summer Reading Program encourages children, especially from babies all the way through school age,” said the program director Diane Giarrusso. “It’s very important that they continue to read during the summer - it helps maintain the skills that they learned in school.”
The B’s 2012 first round draft pick Malcolm Subban was first in arts and crafts, surrounded by a group of eager young kids.
“[My favorite part] I think is just to hang with the kids,” said the goaltender, as he threaded yarn through a paper plate for arts and crafts. “I have a little nephew, he’s just about a year old so I babysit him a lot. It's fun hanging with kids.”
Meanwhile, another goalie and Development Camp vet, Zane Gothberg, proved he’s just as comfortable with a book in his hands as he is his goalie stick between the pipes.
“I’d say it may be up in the teens how many times I’ve read to young children," he said, before adding that his favorite book to read to the kids is the "Alphabet of Hockey.”
Up and coming hometown hero, Matt Grzelcyk, who was welcomed with applause at the start of the event, took this as an opportunity to reach back to his own childhood.
“Getting the chance to run around with the kids, seeing how excited they were and how much energy they had, I kind of remembered, when we were kids," said the Charlestown native.
All of the players who visited the library have participated in a lot of community work before, as it’s a big part of being part of the hockey community and Bruins organization.
“A lot of hockey teams and organizations, you always do stuff like this,” said Colin Campbell. “You always go to community events, you go to schools. I’ve helped read books to kids. It’s great giving back to the community.”
While we may not be seeing any dream catchers hanging in the locker room in Wilmington this week representing the library visit, it's these athletes' desire to give back to the community that supports them, win or lose, that makes the lasting impression.
“Athletes these days are kids' role models,” said Gothberg.
“These kids see them on TV, they wear their jerseys around school - and when pro athletes give back, it’s a very rewarding experience not only for them be for the kids as well.”