Andrew D’Agostini is wrapping up his fifth and final season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes. He’s made many friends throughout the years in Peterborough and has learned a lot of things from the community. One of the good relationships he’s made over the years is with seven-year-old Anthony Romanelli, who is diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Anthony’s mother, Tracy, shared her son’s story with the Petes over a year ago and hearing that children with CF run the risk of drowning in their own fluids really had an impact on D’Agostini. With some help from John Newman Contracting of Peterborough and GM Financial, the Petes were able to create Saves for CF, a community initiative benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, last season.
“With Saves for CF, just broadcasting the cause and getting it out there, getting people involved and raising money, but especially with every save knowing that you’re going out there on the ice every game not just with the purpose of trying to win a game, but you’re also saving lives,” says D’Agostini, “it means everything to me.”
“I’ve learned over the years in the Ontario Hockey League that there’s more to life than hockey. I’ve learned that I’m passionate, not just about playing the game, but influencing people and trying to make a difference in people’s lives along the way and using hockey to do that,” he continued.
“We spend a lot of time in the community doing all kinds of different things. Whether we win or we lose it doesn’t change the fact that the fans support us and we need to show our support back to them and how much we appreciate it.”
For every save made by a Petes goaltender in a game $1 is donated by John Newman Contracting and GM Financial to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, with last season’s total topping $5,000. This season, D’Agostini, as well as newly acquired Jason Da Silva and former Petes goalie Michael Giugovaz, now with Belleville, have combined for 1,912 saves, with this year’s total nearing $3,900 with five games to go on the season heading into Saturday, March 8, 2014.
Although it is D’Agostini’s last season in the OHL, he will continue to help out with the organization and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“I will always be a part of the organization because I’m so close with Anthony and because we got the whole Saves for CF initiative started here. I’m hoping that they continue to do it. I’m sure Tracy will make sure that things are continued here as well,” said the Scarborough, Ontario native.
“Peterborough will always be my home now having spent five years here and I’ll always have that close connection with the Cystic Fibrosis cause, as well as all the other relationships I’ve made along the way that will last a lifetime, so for that reason among others I’ll always be connected with Peterborough,” he continued.
“Peterborough has developed a lot of quality individuals as well as hockey players and it’s definitely an organization that I’m proud to be part of and thrilled to have spent my entire career here.”
D’Agostini is hoping that wherever he ends up next he can bring the initiative with him and make some sort of difference in a new community.
“When it comes to doing things in the community I just love to go out of my way to put a smile on someone’s face or to influence them. Good things happen to good people and I try to share that with as many people as I can.”
After the 2010-11 season D’Agostini won the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award for Top Academic High School Player. The following season he was awarded the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy for Humanitarian of the Year, the second Pete to win the award in as many years.
“I tell everyone that asks that I don’t do it for the honour and being awarded for it, the reward to myself is seeing results and seeing these causes and people benefitting from things that I do for them and heading in the right direction. That award [Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy] is one of the highlights of my career and it will always be. It really means a lot me to be recognized for it. At the same time, it was important to me because this award was not just for my work with Cystic Fibrosis, it was also for all the extra time I put into the community making an impact on a number of people’s lives.”
For more information on Saves for CF, visit http://www.gopetesgo.com/page/saves-for-cf