Daniel J Hollis Foundation Remembers Standout Student Remembers Standout Student
Jul 31, 2020 10:01AM
By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Daniel Hollis excelled in three sports (lacrosse, hockey, and golf) over six years for the Hopedale Junior-Senior High School.
Following his 2018 graduation he was able to continue playing lacrosse on the next level; the former Blue Raider goaltender had earned himself the opportunity to play lacrosse for Emerson College in Boston, where he was majoring in Marketing and Communications.
In September 2019, the beginning of his sophomore year, Hollis was going out to grab a bite to eat with a bunch of his friends when they were approached by another group. An altercation eventually occurred, and Hollis was hit, falling to the ground striking his head.
Then on Oct. 2, the Hopedale standout passed away. Soon after, his parents decided that they needed to do something in remembrance of their son.
“Unfortunately, while he lay in a coma in the hospital, things kept popping up in my head to what we would do if he died,” his mother Jen Kelly said. “We wanted to do something in his name, something that Dan stood for. The outpouring from the community was mind blowing and more than I could have ever imagined; people from all over had things to say about him.”
Not only was Hollis an exceptional athlete, he was also highly creative and wanted to travel. His parents wanted to start a foundation in their son’s name for what he stood for while giving younger kids an opportunity to excel as well.
Hollis’ parents came up with the 3 C’s (Community, Competition and Curiosity); all things their son stood for.
In the beginning, the Daniel J Hollis Foundation saw numerous donations flowing in to help his parents get things off the ground. Then in January of this year, they officially became an organization.
Thus far the foundation has secured a service dog for an 8-year-old boy with autism (according to his mother Hollis was also a lover of animals); on March 9, (Hollis’ birthday) they had a social media event where people would send in videos of themselves doing acts of kindness in Hollis’ honor; they also handed out a $1500 grant during the Covid-19 isolation with people sending in pictures of themselves being creative; have been able to sponsor two students for Summer camp at the Hockomock YMCA and when the first annual golf tournament (which is to take place on Aug. 10) was announced it sold out in 36 hours.
Although all of the foundation’s efforts have been impressive in such a short period of time, the one that holds the dearest to his parents is the Daniel J Hollis Outstanding Teammate Award, which will be given yearly to a Hopedale senior athlete. In order to be able to eligible for the award, athletes must meet four criteria: 1) leadership on and off the field 2) selfless play 3) dedication and commitment to the team and 4) overall love for their sport.
“We wanted the student athletes to be the ones that choose the seniors that would eventually win the award,” Kelly said. “They were the ones to choose the graduating seniors that they felt was not only the best teammate, but ones that exemplified leadership on and off the field. We had a survey created and sent to all the student athletes at the high school.”
The inaugural winners of the Daniel J Hollis Outstanding Teammate Award went to Zoe Athanasopoulos, who is heading to Worcester State University to play lacrosse, and Blake Moxim, who will be playing lacrosse at Lincoln Memorial University at Tennessee.
“To have Zoe and Blake win the award, we were thrilled,” Kelly said. “We knew of Zoe’s reputation for working hard, but Blake and Dane were really close friends. It seemed appropriate that he was part of the first year, it made a lot of sense. And we’re thrilled at the outcome.”
Kelly went on to say it has really ben amazing at how many people have come out to show their support for Dan and all that he stood for. The foundation will continue to raise money throughout the year to do good and give back to the community.
Anyone interested in donating can go to danieljhollisfoundation.org or hit up any of their social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram).