What Drives Us: Summer 2014

Author: TESF co-founder J. Tucker Mullin


June 19, 2014: Although it may seem as if we are trying to inspire a trending topic across social media, #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS is not strictly vying for your attention. The real purpose behind using the term is that #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS represents a more broader inspiration, a widely applicable stamp on the many aspects of our mission while recognizing who is helping us along the way. #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS symbolizes the distinct group of advocates and supporters who categorize themselves into the conversations we are having, and their inclusive vibes are passed onto more and more individuals who are getting behind us and driving the cause forward.

Nowadays, each facet of The Thomas E. Smith Foundation’s (TESF) mission is tied back to our #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS, and lately we have seen tremendous support from those who have joined in on what we are doing and embraced the terminology of our mission.

Titled Summer 2014, this post comes as a culmination of sorts, and after months of hard work we’d like to take the time to put together our own words to acknowledge some of the special developments made in part by our #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS.

For those who have been following our campaign for the Look-Up Line since our January debut at Frozen Fenway, it’s clearly visible that we have made substantial progress. Now that the Look-Up Line has gained enough notoriety to be recognized by the NCAA and USA Hockey for its use as a preventative safety program, our work is just beginning.

LUL Tweets

The true importance of #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS is measured by what people are doing on our behalf, as the success we are seeing lately is something we bear no exclusive right to.  We have seen many examples over the last few months of people stepping up for and joining our cause.

For instance, the implementation of the Look-Up Line at Phillips Andover Academy was an effort driven by three very meaningful people to the Foundation and to myself. We received enthusiastic endorsements from Athletic Director Michael Kuta, Head Boy’s Varsity Coach Dean Boylan, and Director of Rink Operations Benjamin Ruggles, all of whom have never once wavered in their support of my off-ice endeavors. I am extremely grateful for all their hard work in making the Look-Up Line become a reality on campus. By implementing the Look-Up Line at the Harrison Rink, their goal is to demonstrate that Phillips Andover is leading by example, and hope that many other rinks follow suit by October 1, 2014.

Debuting the announcement on CBS Boston this past Friday, Phillips Andover became the second rink in Massachusetts to adopt the Look-Up Line on the playing surface, joining The Johnson Rink at The Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA. Having these two prestigious schools behind our cause and part of our #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS is incredible. The many humbling experiences we have had lately serve as testaments to the type of people we have behind us. I have seen the strength of our relationships continue to grow, allowing us to not only make things happen at places like Phillips Andover and Pingree, but to constantly be connected to the right people who believe in our cause.

LUL on Phillips Andove

Similar to the nature of significant stories that often reflect winding paths; it’s no coincidence that Phillips Andover and Pingree are the first two schools in Massachusetts to have adopted the Look-Up Line.

For me, the opportunity to attend and play hockey at Phillips Andover was a tremendous privilege. My entire experience on campus was nothing short of amazing, and many of the relationships I forged will be with me for the rest of my life. Years removed from my time on campus and now an alumnus, the decree of Non Sibi- Not For Self inscribed by Paul Revere in the school’s seal shines through in the work we are doing with The Thomas E. Smith Foundation. Our work is for others, and the goodness we look to inspire is just a replication of the enthusiasm we derive from the people we are working for.

In 2008, TESF co-founder Thomas (Tom) Smith and I played against each other, Phillips Andover vs. Pingree, unknowing what the future held and without the slightest idea of who each other were. We both were primarily focused on achieving our dream of playing college hockey, and becoming known through our prep school and junior hockey experience symbolized the similar direction we were taking in order to get there. Neither of us could imagine being united through a devastating injury and circumstance that took that dream away from Tom, emphasizing to me that hockey is much bigger than just a game. During my career, hockey became the vehicle in which I played for worthy causes. We are honored to have many of our pivotal relationships be derived from the hockey community, a network of people that care deeply about their counterparts and never fall short in helping those in need.

Said best by Tom; “It’s not about a line, it’s about a life. I do not wish catastrophic injury upon anyone and the Look-Up Line is a preventative approach to decreasing the number of these injuries at all levels of ice hockey.”

Abbreviating chapters to reach today, the message is simple. Phillips Andover and Pingree served as the building blocks for myself, Tom and the TESF to achieve our goals. Much of our own success has resulted from the learning and relationships provided by such great institutions. Their belief in us has extended much further than the realm of students, and it’s great to have their ongoing support for our cause and mission. Regardless of the path we have been on, we most certainly have never lost sight of where it all began.

It’s incredibly humbling to have Phillips Andover and Pingree team up and be instrumental leaders in a nationwide effort to make the game of hockey safer. The Look-Up Line is not only an amazing concept developed by Tom Smith, it goes remarkably deeper to serve its function under the umbrella of a non-profit that has only had the chance to react to the injury, not prevent it.

Without the support from our #TEAMCUREPARALYSIS, the people who are driving us, none of our accomplishments would be possible. Thank you all for the tremendous support, it has allowed us to reach such substantial new heights, and we know this is truly the beginning of something great.

CBS Boston coverage on the Look-Up Line

Eagle Tribune article on Phillip Andover putting down the Look-Up Line