Jason Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt 2010

Thursday night at 6:00pm, Kim and I met up in front of the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Ma. for the “Jason Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt 2010.”  For the past 5 years, the Red Sox Captain has hosted a mini-gold charity event, and this year we were going to it.  Tek chooses a charity, and the proceeds of the event go to helping that particular charity.  Now,  I am all for charity; I have raised money for charities over the years, and respect anyone else who does as well…but let’s be honest…I was only going to this to swoon over Jason and the other Sox players.  I had never even heard of the name of the charity being helped; JOURNEY FORWARD.

Kim and I went inside and staked out a really good spot to watch the evening’s festivities.  For those who have never been to the Tsongas Arena; it’s a hockey rink {sans ice} with the half-boards up {sans glass} and stadium seating.  There were 18 custom-built mini-golf putting holes in the “rink” area where people would be playing later that evening. We were there to watch people play mini-golf, and try to see some of the Sox players.    The tickets we had were for “General Admission,” so we could sit wherever we wanted.  We walked to a spot about 1/3  of the length of the rink and sat in the front row.  We were chatting and looking around when I realized there was a family playing mini-golf right in front of us.  Once I focused, I realized I was looking at Tim Wakefield and his family!  HOLY COW!!!  Right in front of us!  {by the time I realized it was them, they had moved on to the next hole and I was unable to get a picture of them.}  A little while later, we saw Mike Lowell and his family playing.

SIDE NOTE: The event was to start at 7:00pm, and the players were taking their kids out before hand to let them play.  We saw Papi and his kids too.  All of the guys have absolutely adorable children.  {Tek’s girls were there too, but we didn’t see them playing.}

The night’s host, Jason Varitek, started making his way around the arena signing autographs.  I had nothing for him to sign, but Kim did.  So, by the time he got to us, all I could do was  swoon.  {I seriously forgot how the English language worked…ya know…words and stuff!}  😛

So, after the Red Sox Captain made his way around the arena, they started to introduce the players/staff/celebs who were going to be “manning” the 18 holes of the mini-golf course.  Seriously, how cool would it be to go mini-golfing and have Mike Lowell at the 2nd hole???

Once the celebs, who included Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Charlie Moore, and Cedric Maxwell, among others, were in  place, the Emcee brought Tek to the stage and had him say a few words.  Of course Jason thanked everyone for coming and his teammates and other celebs for participating.  Then he had Dan Cummings of Journey Forward come to the stage.  Journey Forward was the charity Varitek was supporting with this event.  Like I said, I had never heard of it, and was truly only there to swoon over Red Sox players….until I heard Dan’s speech.

DAN’S STORY {via http://www.journey-forward.org/dansstory}

June 24th 2000 was the day that would change Dan Cummings life forever. He and his friends were just hanging out on a lake and Dan decided to go for a swim. He dove into the water and in an instant, Dan opened his eyes under water, unable to move. Fortunately, two of his friends notice something was wrong and pulled Dan out of the lake and onto the shore. Not being able to move or feel his legs, Dan knew what had happened and yelled “call 911!”

Dan was airlifted to Boston Medical Center where he was diagnosed a C6 quadriplegic. He would spend the next 4 weeks in the ICU. Unable to breathe on his own, he was hooked up to a life support system known as a ventilator and the machine breathed for him. Dan’s family asked if he would recover and walk again and in those early moments they were told he may not make it through the night. In addition to his injury, Dan had come down with severe pneumonia and suffered a collapsed left lung leaving his life in serious question. Dan’s family was told to take one day at a time and that he still may not make it. After a few weeks had passed, Dan started to recover and was able to breathe a little on his own. He was going to survive. However the thought of walking again…he may never feed himself again or have any sense of independence.

From that point on, Dan made a promise to himself and anyone that would listen. He promised that he was going to one day walk again. He then went to physical therapy in Boston for the next 3 years. But, something was missing, Dan knew he needed more and knew that if he was going to get back on his feet he needed to find a specialized program. After doing exhaustive research, Dan found a place in Southern California that worked specifically with Spinal Cord Injuries for up to 3 hours per day. After a short visit Dan knew he needed this specialized program and made a commitment to becoming independent enough to move to California. There Dan received the tools and knowledge he needed to get out of his wheelchair. After nearly four years in the program, Dan walked out of their doors. Dan and his family’s commitment had paid off. This left Dan with a new mission: make this program accessible to all of those in need of it. So, he moved back home to Boston and started Journey Forward; which will be opening centers throughout the country, so that those that need this program do not have to move across the country as Dan did.

Dan had the whole place near tears and Kim and I were clapping and cheering for him once he finished.  When Dan walked on and off the stage, it was an amazing sight!  If you are ever looking for a charity to donate to….JOURNEY FORWARD! Jason Varitek, I  HIGHLY commend you for choosing this charity.  It’s local, its inspirational, and it is helping people stay with their families in New England, rather than traveling cross-country!  GOOD JOB, TEK!!!

SIDE NOTE: Dan gave us more details last night, but I wanted to make sure I got it correct, that is why I copied it from the Journey Forward website.  What Dan has gone through is amazing.  *tip of the cap* to Dan and the whole Cummings family!

After all the speeches finished, the games began.  The people playing mini-golf had been corporate or private sponsors, and got to meet all the players along the course.  The rest of us got to watch the players interacting with them.  It was kinda like going to the zoo and watching the animals interact with each other.  To keep us entertained though, they interviewed each celeb throughout the evening.

Kim and I stayed till about 8:30 and moved around a couple of times.  We got photos of various Sox players and Kim tried her hand at a golf putting thingie to win $10,000.  {The person who hit a ball into the cup from the furthest distance won.}  Kim tried her best, but came up a little short.  {I wouldn’t have even made it past the first swing.}

All in all, the night was full of fun and laughs for Kim and I!  It wasn’t until we got home that we got word Jason Varitek…the hottie we had just watched like a zoo animal for 2+ hours….was on the DL!!!  WHAT????  Nooooooo!!!!


2 Responses to “Jason Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt 2010”

  1. Erin Says:

    Jenney, would love to post your story and one of your photos on my fan site! Email me if this would be okay with you!

  2. Amy Says:

    I was there, too–great night 🙂 I had never heard of Journey Forward before either, but I did recognize Dan Cummings from “Still, We Believe”–not sure if you’ve seen that movie, but he’s on the fans that they follow. Incredible story.

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