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Meet YouTube Star #Liam4DS at Bruins Alum Charity Game; Get your own Fist Bump

Bruins legends face off in game to support acceptance and inclusion

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| Source: Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
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Screenshot 2014-11-13 11.33.19

Screenshot 2014-11-13 11.33.19

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Get your own fist bump from Liam Fitzgerald, the 8-year-old boy with Down syndrome who became a YouTube sensation. Footage of Liam, who has Down syndrome, getting fist bumps from the entire Boston Bruins team went viral last week. It now has more than 4 million views. Liam's fans will be tweeting under the hashtag #Liam4DS and #FistBump4DS.

Liam, whose family are long-time supporters of the MDSC, will be our special guest at on Sunday, November 23 at the MSDC's 10th Annual Hockey Benefit Game at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro.

At the event, the MDSC All Stars for the 10th time will lace up and face off against the Boston Bruins Alumni team. The Bruins team is stacked with Boston sports legends like Rick Middleton, Bob Sweeney, Terry O'Reilly, Kenny Hodge, Andy Brickley and many others.

Twenty-three brave souls who make the MDSC All Stars will live out their sports fantasy to support the Down syndrome community and raise vital funds for MDSC programs and services.
Hundreds of hockey fans and members of the Down syndrome community will gather for this wonderful family event that will include a silent auction, free skate for all ages and abilities, and meet and greet opportunities with the Bruins alumni. The raffle and a silent auction are filled with sports memorabilia, sports tickets, exciting experiences, and other great gift items perfect for the holiday season.
Festivities start at 12pm, including a Free Skate with the Boston Bruins Alumni, Blades the Bear, Bruins Ice Girls, and the Worcester Sharks mascot, Finz. The action-packed game begins at 1:30pm. Tickets are only $10.00 for adults and children (12 & under) are FREE. All students also get in free if they wear their school or Boston Bruins jersey. Tickets can be purchased on the event website, http://mdsc.kintera.org/hockey2014, or at the door.

Special thanks to event co-chairs Scott Trinque and Charlie Gadbois, who helped organize the event. Charlie, of Southborough, is owner of Wellen Construction and Scott is owner of EchoStor Technologies in Hopkinton. Both have children with Down syndrome. Scott's children Zoe and Theo will drop the ceremonial puck.

MORE ABOUT LIAM


In 2010, Liam Fitzgerald, who was then 4, was entering treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and nobody knew what to expect. But after 3 ½ years of treatment, Liam, who has Down syndrome, came through with flying colors. What probably didn't hurt was the love, resilience and support of his family, not only for Liam personally but for others like him. Last November, Liam's brother, Nick Cavanna, played in the MDSC's 9th Annual Hockey Benefit Game. Nick raised more than $3,000 in honor of Liam to support the MDSC programs for people with Down syndrome. At the silent auction, Liam's family brought home for Liam the bike of his dreams from Belmont Wheelworks.

The MDSC, which partners with the Bruins Foundation on the Annual Hockey Benefit and a 50/50 raffle at a Bruins game each year, helped connect Liam's family with the Bruins. On Feb. 1, 2014, McQuaid invited Liam and his family to the game as his special guest at the TD Garden as the Bruins faced off against the Edmonton Oilers.

According to Liam's mom, Christine, going to the game was "the best ever." Liam met the Bruins Ice Girls, mascot Blades the bear, and players like Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron. "There are many amazing and giving people in the world. But the best part of the day was seeing how happy and how much fun Liam had," she added. Since then, as Liam's dad, put it, "Liam has become a citizen of the [Boston] Garden. And the rest is history.

According to Maureen Gallagher, Executive Director of the MDSC, Liam and his family exemplify the MDSC's theme for 2014, "Champions," which is based on the Boston Strong mentality of people coming together to overcome challenges and the positive sense of community pride that has developed as a result. "We are thrilled that Liam and his family are getting worldwide attention and helping us spread the word about how amazing people with Down syndrome are," Gallagher said. "The family has given so much to the MDSC, and now the Bruins organization has given so much to them. The Fitzgeralds and the Bruins are true Champions!"

Throughout the year, the MDSC has highlighted the Champions of the Down syndrome movement here in Massachusetts who demonstrate the resilience of our community and how we all pull together to ensure that people with Down syndrome everywhere have opportunities to lead fulfilling lives.

About the MDSC


As we have over the past nearly three decades, the MDSC continues to ensure that all individuals in Massachusetts with Down syndrome are valued, included, and given every opportunity to pursue fulfilling lives. The MDSC offers a broad array of programs to serve people with Down syndrome and their families throughout the state, including: our signature Parent's First Call Program, a volunteer, state-wide group of trained parent mentors available 24/7 that is a national model; two major annual conferences that draw national and international experts in their fields; a Buddy Walk® Program that includes 3 Buddy Walks throughout the state; Self-Advocate Programs like Advocates in Motion and our Self-Advocate Advisory Council, which provide opportunities for teens and adults with Down syndrome while making empowerment a central component.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=29060

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=29061

Communications Director Josh Komyerov, 781-221-0024 or :

Maureen Gallagher, Executive Director, 781-221-0024 or