Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been married to Tracy Hussey for 27 years and we have three children: Carly, 22 graduated Providence College and works at Cushman Wakefield, Heather, 21, is a Senior at Miami University Ohio, and Will, a Freshman at Providence College. I was born in Norwalk, CT, graduated from Babson College and work as a Financial Advisor.
What inspired you to get involved in SNAP?
Five years ago, Warren Pellisier, then President of Hingham Sports Partnership, asked me to be on the board and I never looked back. There’s nothing better than to be able to help children that truly appreciate your efforts. There was such a need to be able to offer kids with special needs sports outlets like the ones other kids have had for so long, so it was a no brainer from day one!
What is your favorite part of the SNAP Soccer Program?
SNAP soccer meets for 45 minutes each Sunday and I can honestly say that that is the most rewarding 45 minutes of my week. The first year we started the soccer program, a young boy arrived dressed up in his favorite soccer team’s uniform and ran all around the field. After the second session, his Mom, with tears in her eyes, told me how much the program meant to her family as this was the first time that she had ever seen her son run around. There must have been something about the soccer that triggered a desire to run and it turned out that he was great at the sport. So then I had tears in my eyes! My favorite part of the SNAP soccer has nothing to do with soccer- it’s “The Party Train”! We all get together at the end of the practice and I play The Gap Band’s “Party Train” on my speaker as we take a tour around the field together ending up in a dance circle. It’s great to see the kids, both players and mentors, all getting together for a dance off!
What impact do you think SNAP has had on Hingham and the broader South Shore Community?
The impact on both Hingham and the South Shore has been huge. This year SNAP soccer expanded, bringing in participants from many other towns. SNAP’s greatest impact is that it removes barriers between kids with special needs and their classmates. SNAP programs bring kids with special needs together with high school mentors in a relaxed environment, which allows them to get to know each other. When they see each other every Sunday, the kids run up to each other with high fives or hugs. I’ve also heard that the mentors and kids are interacting more, and in a very positive way, at school. This didn’t happen as much before SNAP because typical kids and kids with special needs weren’t always sure how to act around each other. Just a few weeks ago a Mom told me that one of the mentors really connected with her son on their mutual interests of super heroes and video games. She said that her son was not ready for the dance party at the end of each session because he had been bullied in the past. So, that this mentor to be able to connect and make this player feel important and comfortable was awesome and what SNAP is all about.
What is your favorite thing about Hingham?
Hingham is special because there are so many people that truly want to help others that might not be as fortunate. I also like all the great restaurants we have!
What is your favorite local spot in Hingham?
The back bar of Tosca.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Play a round of golf at Augusta National.
What is one thing people may not know about you?
I once sang God Bless America on stage at the Hatch Shell on the esplanade in Boston. (I’m also a Yankees fan).
You can learn more about SNAP, including a list of programs and ways to get involved at their BRAND NEW WEBSITE: www.southshoresnap.com
Fred Hussey is a founding SNAP [Special Needs Athletic Partnership] Board member and coaches the wildly popular SNAP Soccer program each Fall and Spring. Five years ago, Hingham Sports Partnership and Hingham Special Education Parents Advisory Council [SEPAC] recognized a need for sports and recreation opportunities for kids with special needs.
Committed community coaches like Fred joined forces with parents and town officials, and South Shore SNAP [Special Needs Athletic Partnership] was born! To learn more about South Shore SNAP, visit their BRAND NEW WEBSITE at: www.southshoresnap.com
Hingham, meet Fred.