FRANKLIN, MA -- We’re betting that your elementary school "Show and Tell" subjects were never quite as cool as John and Austin Brown’s.
On Tuesday June 16th, the 11-year old twins from Franklin brought Bruins sniper Phil Kessel to show off to their fifth grade class after the Brown family was awarded the honor when they won the “Show and Tell” experience at a Boston Bruins Foundation charity auction.
“They [John and Austin] ran around this house for an hour when we told them,” said proud mom Tracey Brown. “They were so excited.”
And they were even more keyed up (re: barely able to stand still) as they waited anxiously for Kessel to arrive at their school.
When the Bruins center finally arrived, he greeted the boys with handshakes and team-autographed sticks. But the nervous energy that had once been with the Brown’s suddenly shifted to the 21-year-old Kessel when he found out how many students had assembled to hear him speak.
“Wow, there’s 100?” he said as he approached the school’s auditorium.
With his arm still in a sling from last month’s shoulder surgery, at first Kessel seemed a little uncomfortable with all the attention centering on him alone. But after just two questions from his hosts, Kessel looked as at ease as he usually does surrounded by his teammates on the Garden ice.
And just like the Garden crowd, the children brought the best out of the young forward.
“Whatever you guys want to ask me, ask me anything,” Kessel told the crowd of kids.
He answered questions ranging from what it feels like to play in the Garden ("awesome") to his favorite NHL moment ("getting drafted") and his hobbies (golfing and playing video games).
Kessel even offered some simple advice to all young athletes.
“You always have to have fun,” he said. “If you are not having fun playing then there’s no reason to play.”
After the Q&A and a group photograph, Kessel and the Brown’s hopped into the Boston Bruins Hummer and rode back to the house, where the Brown boys treated Kessel to a live performance of their interpretation of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.
Kessel was more than impressed with John and Austin’s musical abilities.
“How do you know which one [drum] to hit?” asked Kessel after their performance. “I have no rhythm...I can’t dance or anything”.
Before he left, Kessel signed anything the boys wanted and thanked the Brown’s for inviting him over to their house.
Looking back on the day, Kessel said that despite his early nerves about speaking to the kids, the event was very much worth it.
“Obviously, I’m nervous because I’m not a great public speaker, but you enjoy doing this stuff because it makes the kid’s happy,” he said. “It makes their day, so whenever you get a chance to do that it’s great.
“It was a great day.”
About the Boston Bruins Foundation The Boston Bruins Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation whose mission is to assist charitable organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children throughout New England. Since its inception in July 2003 by the Jacobs Family, it has raised more than $4 million dollars through a series of fundraising events. The Foundation, which provides grants to organizations that meet the standards of its mission, concentrates on athletics, academics, health, and community outreach programs that assist in helping enrich the lives of children throughout New England.