For a notable duration spanning a fulfilling decade, John Dunleavy has dutifully served the TD Garden and the Boston Bruins Foundation. The years etched into the annals of the Boston Bruins were not just years; instead, they highlighted the best phase of John’s life. “A remarkable decade that resonated with unbound joy and contentment,” he expressed.
Leveraging the aid of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, John, who lives with Down Syndrome, managed to grasp this golden opportunity straight out of high school. His role within the organization encompassed a wide range of tasks, from administrative duties to orchestrating community events, and even stirring unparalleled enthusiasm in the Bruins alumni team through his incredible pep talks.
Expressing his love for the community, John revealed the deep sense of fulfillment his work birthed. The pivotal figure in John’s life, Bob Sweeney, ex-Bruin and current president of the Bruins Foundation, heavily inspired him. This connection, fostered through the Congress and Bruins alumni games, evolved into an unbreakable bond over the past decade.
According to Sweeney, John was synonymous with joy, his radiant smile lighting up the room, thereby becoming a beacon of positivity. Gainful employment rendered a sense of independence to John. The foundation granted him acceptance and respect, akin to those felt by an integral part of the team.
John’s relationship with his coworkers extended beyond conventional office boundaries. When representing Massachusetts at the Special Olympics USA Games in swimming, John’s colleagues stood by him through the rigorous training phase. Sweeney further lent emotional support by witnessing John’s commendable competition in Florida.
The “Your Next Star” Employment Center, an initiative by MDSC, has been actively bridging the gap between employers and potential employees living with Down syndrome. According to Sweeney, such individuals infuse tremendous value to an organization’s workforce. This realization led to both Sweeney and John engaging in spreading awareness of the Employment Center’s benefits and advocating for hiring individuals with Down Syndrome.
No plans of retirement seem to loom over John’s future. “I intend to serve this organization until life permits,” he declared. As an honorary coach at the Bruins alumni game benefitting MDSC, John looks forward to donning his role with elan once again at the upcoming game on November 19th at the Warrior Ice Arena.