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Team IMPACT unites kids and local college teams

Noah Davidopoulos, 7, Matthew’s brother, receives an honorary defense stick from assistant lacrosse defense coach Kevin Bibeau at Merrimack College.
Noah Davidopoulos, 7, Matthew’s brother, receives an honorary defense stick from assistant lacrosse defense coach Kevin Bibeau at Merrimack College.Credit:

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Team Impact is the brainchild of several close friends, most of whom attended Tufts University together (including Dan Kraft, son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Jay Calnan, who provides office space at his J. Calnan & Associates business in Quincy).

Dan Walsh, who recently stepped down as Team IMPACT’s executive director, and his friends began working with a nonprofit specializing in brain tumor patients, but quickly decided the scope was too limited.

The friends raised their first funds out of pocket, and launched the program with the St. Anselm’s College hockey team in Manchester, N.H., in 2011. Today, Walsh estimates that Team IMPACT oversees partnerships in 37 states. The lacrosse squad is one of eight Merrimack College teams with a Team IMPACT child on the roster. Tufts has six.

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