Hometown Heroes: Ultimate Sports Program

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- 8 years ago Steve Berube of Westfield began a sports program for both disabled and able bodied children. The Pioneer Valley Red Cross has selected Steve Berube as a hometown hero.

22News explains how Steve Berube has helped change the lives of so many children for the better. Director Steve Berube told 22News how he tries to    “There’s a blind kid that came to our event. You wouldn’t know he was blind, because he has learned to simply fit it.”

Steve Berube’s ultimate sports program has grown from 10 families to more than 700 families. Kerry Holland said his  niece and nephew have benefited from Berube’s program. “They learn they can overcome difficulties but also the socialization that comes, even though they might be different, they really can have friends and be good friends,” said Holland.

Sean Berube is so proud of the ultimate sports program’s accomplishments, he nominated his dad as a hometown hero. “we have kids with various degrees of disabilities. Some are noticeable, some have a lot of trouble, but we play as if everyone’s the same.”

Steve Berube looks back to the moment the ultimate sports program had its first success and he knew he was on the right track. He told 22News one of the many success stories. “We took a little boy with Downs in first grade, and begged his parents to join our baseball team. They turned us down for a week, a week and a half, and each time I would see them I would be there, and they did and Garrett fit in like a charm.”

Steve’s wife Lisa gets emotional when she sees how disabled children and their parents have benefited from the program Steve began to help remove barriers by bringing  disabled and able bodied children closer together. “Where kids have done anything with any other kids. They’ve interacted, it’s been the greatest thing ever.”

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