Tucker Mullin used to come home to Andover to get his laundry done and enjoy a few home-cooked meals and some rest in his old bedroom.
His trip this past weekend was a little different.
Mullin hopped a train from New York City to Boston, then Boston to Andover, to do what he has always done best: Help others in need.
The 23-year-old graduate of St. Anselm College in May came here to help co-direct the fourth annual Just Cure Paralysis Golf Tournament at Andover Country Club this past Monday. The tourney benefits the Thomas E. Smith Foundation (ww.justcureparalysis.org), which helps families that have suffered from a paralyzing injury.
The foundation is up and running stronger than ever, as is the man for whom it is named. Thomas Smith has now twice recovered, albeit not fully, from two hockey accidents in which he was paralyzed from the waist down.
Now, Smith walks with a cane, with 100 percent mobility in his left leg and about 15 percent mobility in his right leg. Smith also has no feeling near his waist.
“Tucker is and always will be a special guy,” said Smith, a Marblehead native who lives in Los Angeles part of the year. “He was there at the beginning, when I needed something most. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him.”
This was the fourth annual tourney, which means these guys were college students when they decided to start a foundation and raise money via a charity golf fundraiser.
Does anybody know college students this mature? I know I wasn’t one of them.
“I’ve always thought it was important to help people in need,” Mullin said. “I got that from my upbringing. My parents (Joe and Colleen) are special people. Sure, it wasn’t easy being a student, playing college hockey and then starting a foundation, but this was special. This was worth all of the work.”