Ever since the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last June, the trophy has had the life of a rock star.
It's been in Canada, Slovakia, and Finland this summer — and last week the Stanley Cup made an appearance in Bradford as part of the final leg of the Boston Bruins victory tour.
The cup came to Bradford Elementary School after the school won a contest held by Bruins. Led by fifth-grade teacher Matthew Castonguay and fourth-grade teacher Maureen Cavanaugh, students made a video explaining why the Stanley Cup should come to their school. Last Tuesday afternoon, the Bruins notified the school that it had been chosen for an hour-long visit.
Castonguay has worked part-time for the Bruins since he was a freshman at Salem State University. He started out as an intern with the Bruins promotions staff and did several odd jobs with the organization before working himself up to be the director of promotions during games.
"I'm in charge of the instant seat upgrades, t-shirt giveaways and selecting the fan of the game," he said.
With his connection to the Bruins, Castonguay became part of the team's "I Can Excel" (ICE) program. The ICE program allows teachers to design Bruins-themed lesson plans that appear on the team's website. The lessons educate students with a hockey-style twist. The lessons are connected the state's core curriculum, as well, meaning they meet educational standards set by the state.
Bradford Elementary Principal Wendy Stanley was notified that the cup was coming just 24 hours before its arrival, and alerted families to have students wear their Bruins memorabilia to celebrate the Bruins' championship.
"The vibe of the day is just overall excitement," Stanley said on Wednesday when the cup arrived. "All the kids are wearing black and gold today to show their pride for the Bruins."
Because of the trophy's popularity, the Bruins suggested the school hire a police detail while it was at the school. The cup itself already had a protector in the person of Howie Borrow. Borrow is one of the four keepers of the cup who travel with the Stanley Cup wherever it goes. One of the traditions after a team wins the cup is that each member of the team gets to spend one day with the trophy. Borrow traveled to Europe this year to watch over the cup as some of the Bruins' European players spent their time with it.
Borrow said last week's visits to Bradford Elementary and the Grinnell Elementary School in Derry were two of the last stops the Bruins have with the cup. Sometime over the next week, the Bruins will relinquish the trophy to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where it will be kept until the next NHL champion is crowned.
Also part of the cup's traveling party was Kerry Collins, Bruins director of community relations. Collins said these were the first schools the Stanley Cup had been in since the Bruins won the championship. The cup had visited sick children in Boston at places like the Floating Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
"It brings a smile to everyone's face," said Collins. "Not just kids, but adults too."
Stanley, the Bradford Elementary principal, said this was a proud day for the school. At the end of the day, she did what many of her colleagues had prodded her to do.
Have Stanley take a picture with Stanley.
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