By Cristal Steuer
Senior Brandon Nunn an economics major, with an art history minor, and a left wing on the men's hockey team, has turned a goal into more than a number on the scoreboard.
The Fairport, N.Y. native was busy with hockey and classes, but was looking for a way to give back to the Holy Cross and Worcester communities. He found a way to help others, while also racking up points for the Holy Cross men's hockey team.
Last year, Nunn started Power Play Points for PINK, where local businesses, community members, parents, and alumni pledge money for any goal that is scored during a power play in a men's hockey home game. Last year the program raised approximately $4,000 for PINK Revolution, a Worcester-based charity committed to creating change in the lives of those touched by breast cancer. "PINK Revolution is great charity because 100 percent of the proceeds go to fighting cancer," says Nunn. "They raise funds for early detection and prevention strategies, clinical research and promotion of survivorship programs throughout central Massachusetts."
This past year, Nunn's fundraising took on a different meaning for him, when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. "Hearing about my mother's diagnosis scared me a little bit, but my work with PINK Revolution allowed me to cope with it extremely well," he shares. "Through this project, I have met so many incredible women and hearing their stories of survival gave me a strong sense of confidence that my mother was going to be alright. I am so proud of how well she has fought her battle thus far, and her ability to remain positive along with her strength and resolve to overcome this adversity is very admirable."
"Brandon is an outstanding hockey player. He has worked hard and gone from a good player to one of our top players," says Head Hockey Coach Paul Pearl. "He is a mature and thoughtful person who lives the Holy Cross mission 'men and women for others.' The Power Play Points for PINK is not an easy undertaking, and he has made the program very successful."
Nunn, who could skate before he could walk, came to Holy Cross to play hockey, but also because of its rigorous academics. "I knew I wasn't going to play hockey forever, and I wanted a good education," he shares. "I also liked the sense of community I felt when I stepped onto campus for the first time."
Next semester, Nunn and his teammates will play their annual "Pink the Rink" game on Feb. 16 vs. UConn. The team will wear special edition pink jerseys to show its support for breast cancer awareness. The jerseys will be auctioned off throughout the game with all proceeds going to PINK Revolution. The team last wore the pink jerseys Nunn's freshmen year, when they raised approximately $7,000 from the game.
The hockey team is very active in the Worcester community. Many of the players participate in Crusaders for Kids, a big brother type of program set up by the players to bring inner city kids to other sporting events on campus as well as in the community; last season the team hosted a Camouflage Jersey Game to benefit The Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, which provides educational assistance grants to the children of Massachusetts service members who were killed while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom; and last spring the team played a game against the East Coast Jumbos, a Special Olympics Hockey Team.
A member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society, last year Nunn recorded a career-best of 15 goals and six assists for the Crusaders hockey team. He ranked second on the team in goals. He is already leading the team this year after only four games with three goals and four assists. After graduation, Nunn will decide whether to pursue professional hockey or enter the financial services field.