Innovation softball team handcrafts fleece blankets for patients at Hospital for Special Care

Published on Wednesday, 9 June 2021 10:47
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEW BRITAIN – Patients at the Hospital for Special Care recently received a thoughtful gift from their neighbors at the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation.

The school and hospital are located at 600 Slater Rd. and 2150 Corbin Ave., respectively, just a hop, skip and a jump away from one another.

When softball players on the Innovation Ravens were amidst their 2021 spring season they took on another challenge that had nothing to do with sports.

Coaches Mike Jessie and Mandy Tuthill asked the team to put the bats and balls aside for a few hours and help their community.

The players spent several Wednesday afternoons handcrafting fleece blankets for the HFSC, which cares for children and adults with a wide range of needs, from spinal and brain injuries, to rehabilitation, physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as chronic and acute illnesses. The hospital is also home to one-of-a-kind pediatric and autism programs.

“The Ravens softball team would like to thank members of both the Ravens baseball team and Ravens track and field team for their help finishing some of the blankets,” Jessie told the Herald/Press in an email the first week of June. “Together they learned how important it is to give back to the community.”

“Get-well” cards were also created by the student-athletes to go with the blankets they made.

HFSC representative Dee Goodrich accepted the donation at the end of May.

Coaches said it was a bonding experience for the players themselves, many of which were new to the team this year.

CREC students are no strangers to community service. At Innovation and other CREC magnet schools, the educational model puts students and staff to work outside the academic arena, serving humanitarian causes in the communities their schools call home.

The Ravens track and field team, for example, recently completed a school-wide food drive for New Britain’s Food and Resource Academy, which like HFSC, is located within walking distance of the school.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at

Posted in New Britain Herald, Innovation, New Britain on Wednesday, 9 June 2021 10:47. Updated: Wednesday, 9 June 2021 10:50.