The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has announced its annual list of "Hometown Heroes ~ 2014".

This year's slate of honorees range from a man who works with disabled children to a lifelong blood donor to a pair of delivery drivers who rushed to the aid of a car-crash victim.

The recipients of the American Red Cross honor will be presented with awards at a March 27 breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the ballroom of the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.

Link to WWLP channel 22’s Hometown Hero video

USP Honoree is:

* Steve Berube, of Westfield, who has dedicated his life to ensuring children with disabilities are able to participate in organized sports. Berube created the Ultimate Sports Program, whose mission statement is "Social Inclusion Through Sports."

Awards

USP

Best of Westfield award in 2011 FOR HAVING

THE BEST SPORTS INSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS BY THE

US COMMERCE ASSOCIATION

FOR OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

TEACHING KIDS HOW TO ENJOY SPORTS

 

USP

The Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism Award

Celebrated USP’s  Exercise and Healthy Eating Volunteerism!

Mission Statement:

USP's mission is to teach sports to kids with disabilities alongside their more typical peers. USP teaches all kids that having friends who are different than yourself is a GREAT thing and a lot of fun! Social Inclusion Through Sports is USP's goal, which in turn prevents bullying that often occurs to those with special needs.

Our programs include Flag Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball & Wiffleball, Sled Hockey, Soccer, Frisbee Golf, Kickball, Swimming, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course and Bowling. Our Special Events include experiences with the Boston Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox, Westfield State, UMass & UConn. USP sponsors a Deep Sea fishing trip, a trip to a NASCAR event and a huge welcome to summer event, Discover the Outdoors.

Why volunteer are critical to the Ultimate Sports Program:

· USP runs programs throughout the year involving kids of many ages and abilities. Having volunteers that can help teach fundamentals while also taking part in the activity makes each program, more successful.

· Volunteers often come away from a program having learned as much about social inclusion as the athletes they are helping.

· Most USP programs are free. Families do not have to commit to attending each week, nor worry about a program's cost. Volunteers insure that each program runs smoothly, whether there are a dozen participants, or a hundred.


Volunteer Opportunities:

USP is very simple to join, families send an email to usp@comcast.net and ask to be put on the mailing list. USP sends out a newsletter each week detailing current and upcoming program and special events. USP is open to athletes of any age, any size, any sex, from anywhere and most importantly, with ANY ability.

· Volunteers are welcome to take part in any USP event, either as a athlete with skills in that event who can help the organization teach the fundamentals, as an adult who can help USP organize and run an event or simply as an athlete who takes part and both teaches and learns the lessons of Social Inclusion.

· USP runs big events every year with Professional Sports teams and local colleges. Volunteers are welcome to take part in both the planning and the running of those events. Upcoming big events include the Celtics Experience in December, UConn Huskies Basketball Experience in December. USP is running a sled hockey program in Dec-Jan which will include a Bruins Hockey is for Everyone Experience in mid-January.

· USP is always looking for volunteers who help the organization spread the message of Social Inclusion throughout New England. This can be done by organizing a local event or simply using social media to spread news about USP.

USP is a non-profit who works under the umbrella of the Association of Community Living, located in Springfield, Mass. Because most of the events are free, USP is always looking for Volunteers to help raise money. This is needed as the organization continues to grow.

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Sean and Steve with Barbara Pilarcik, president of The Association  for Community Living, receiving —award for 5 years of partnership with the program.

USP

AWARDED $4000 Grant by             The b.good family foundation for our work in spreading Social Inclusion                        through our community

The Dale & Holley Show has selected and chosen to recognize the following champions of our community:

 

USP was named Champion of the Community in week 2 April of 2009