By Pete DeVito,
DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College men’s ice hockey program officially welcomed six-year old Luke Palmer to the team at a press conference Friday afternoon at the Nichols Athletic Center.
Luke joined the Bison earlier this season from Team IMPACT, which is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Luke was joined at the press conference by Nichols head coach Parker Burgess, several members of the team – including Hogan Davidson, Chris Deming, Ben Campbell, Nate Foster, T.J. Roche, Oliver Arnberg, David Chevrier, Luke Andracki, Zachary Palmer, Scott Cuthrell, and D.J. Goldstein. Palmer also was joined at the press conference by his mother, Darcy, and his brother, Jon.
“When you look at what a Nichols men’s ice hockey player, there are a few different characteristics you need to have: courage, loyalty, and the willingness to show up every day even when times are tough, and Luke embodies,” said Burgess. “It’s a privilege to welcome Luke and his family to our team. We’re excited to have them not just for this season, but forever.”
A native of North Grosvenordale, Conn., Luke loves Star Wars and the Avengers, and enjoys playing with all of his pets, which includes four dogs, one cat, one rabbit, and one turtle. Luke and his brother both began ice skating after Christmas and have joined the Bison on the ice for several practices. The Palmer’s have also attended several home and road games this season, including last night’s 4-2 win over Johnson & Wales at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Several members of the Bison have spent time at the Palmer residence playing games and eating meals.
Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.
Team IMPACT has more than 1,000 teams waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, visit www.goteamimpact.org for more information.