GUELPH, ON – These days, Andrew D'Agostini has a lot on his plate.
The 24-year-old, who is currently in his second season with the Brampton Beast (ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens), is juggling a professional hockey career with the demands of being a full-time student. D'Agostini, a former standout goalie with the Gryphons men's hockey team, remains enrolled at the University of Guelph where he is working towards a degree in Public Management. In between all of that, the Scarborough native is still somehow managing to find time to raise money for a cause that remains close to his heart.
For a third consecutive year, former Gryphons men's hockey goalie Andrew D'Agostini, in partnership with Frank & Steins Pub, has raised $1,000 to support Cystic Fibrosis research through the "Saves for CF" program. The money will be put to use on University of Guelph soil with Dr. Sarah Wootton and Dr. Jondavid de Jong leading the research being done at U of G's Pathobiology building in an attempt to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The "Saves for CF" program, which launched prior to the 2014-15 season, has now raised $3,000 over the past three years, with Frank & Steins Pub donating $1 towards Cystic Fibrosis research for every save made by a Gryphon goalie during the season. During the 2016-17 campaign, Gryphon goalies Scott Stajcer and Keith Hamilton combined to make 872 saves. Frank & Steins Pub rounded up that total to donate $1,000 for the cause.
"I am very excited that Frank & Steins, the University of Guelph's Department of Athletics as well as the Gryphons men's hockey program have decided to carry on with the Saves for CF program," said D'Agostini. "Cystic Fibrosis is a cause that has connected me with so many amazing people and has allowed me to show myself, and others, that it's really not hard to make a difference in someone's life."
Prior to suiting up for the Gryphons (from 2014-15 to 2015-16), Andrew D'Agostini enjoyed a successful five year OHL career with the Peterborough Petes. During that time, D'Agostini was named the OHL's "Humanitarian of the Year" for, amongst other things, his efforts in helping support Cystic Fibrosis Canada. While in Peterborough, Andrew developed a friendship with the Romanelli family whose then-six-year-old son, Anthony, was diagnosed with the disease. After having successfully spearheaded fundraising campaigns in Peterborough, D'Agostini continued to support Cystic Fibrosis after becoming a Gryphon in the fall of 2014.
"We love being involved with such a great cause and it's an honour to be associated with tremendous student-athletes like Andrew," said Dario Direnzo, co-owner of Frank & Steins Pub. "He inspires others, not only at the University of Guelph but in our community as a whole, and we all hope that one day we'll have a major breakthrough for Cystic Fibrosis."
Helping lead the way in discovering that major breakthrough is Dr. Sarah Wootton who is part of a team that is working towards developing an "all-in-one" gene therapy vector capable of delivering permanent correction of Cystic Fibrosis. "We are deeply grateful for this donation in support of our CF research, which aims to develop lung gene therapy vectors capable of correcting the mutations that cause CF," says Dr. Wootton. For more information on the work being done by Dr. Wootton, visit her website on molecular virology.
D'Agostini, who enjoyed two sensational seasons with the Gryphons men's hockey team - helping lead them to an OUA championship in March of 2015, is currently preparing for the ECHL's opening round of playoffs. This Thursday (April 13) the Brampton Beast will open their 2017 playoffs versus the Reading Royals (ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers). It is a seven and a half hour bus ride from Brampton to Reading. The long road trips are commonplace in the ECHL and serve as prime opportunities to hit the books for D'Agostini, who is in his final semester of studies in his pursuit of a degree in Public Management. When Brampton's 2017 ECHL playoffs eventually come to an end, D'Agostini will trade in the long bus rides for a long walk as he continues his support of CF by taking part in the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History on May 28.
To support Andrew in his "Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History" – click here.