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Bracelets aid boy’s family

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In late September, the Notre Dame community was touched by the story of Montana Mazurkiewicz.

The 10-year-old boy died from cancer a few days before the Notre Dame-Washington football game, and Irish football head coach Charlie Weis kept his promise by running the first play at the child’s request.

In the weeks following, three Notre Dame juniors found a way to honor Mazurkiewicz and assist his family through an assignment for their entrepreneurship class.

Scott Coyle, Brian Veith and Pat Argentieri are selling navy blue rubber bracelets inscribed with “Pass Right” to raise money for the Mazurkiewicz family, who receive all proceeds from the sales through a fund overseen by the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union.

“We’ve talked to them, and mostly it’s to help pay for medical and funeral expenses,” Coyle said.

The group thought of selling bracelets before deciding to fundraise for the Mazurkiewicz family, but decided the boy’s inspiring story would make for a successful project.

“It’s a tangible way for people to remember what happened,” Veith said.

Coyle said the project was both a good way to honor Mazurkiewicz and to fulfill their assignment to start a company or fundraising effort.

“At the time, it had just happened, so it was a big story on campus,” he said. “We thought it would be a good opportunity and that there was a need to be fulfilled. It’s also a great story that people should look at and admire.

“We felt that going the charity route would allow us to expand our horizons and do something great in addition to learning valuable things in class,” he said.

The bracelets, which cost $3, are sold online at www.passright.org or from one of the group members. They have also been sold at football concession stands for Sorin, Badin and Farley Halls, Veith said. Coyle estimated that each concession stand sold about 100 bracelets.

Argentieri said about 750 of the 1,000 bracelets originally ordered have been sold.

Rather than setting a specific monetary goal for the project, the group aims to cater to campus interest.

“We’re figuring most of the interest will die out by the end of semester,” Coyle said. “We want to go through semester but are not capping it at that.”

The bracelets have been popular among those who knew Montana, Argentieri said.

“A local school teacher who had Montana in class heard about our project and loved the idea,” he said. “The family keeps wanting more bracelets.”

Veith said the Notre Dame community is in a special position to help the Mazurkiewicz family with expenses.

“I think we all have experienced a loss like the Mazurkiewicz family did,” he said. “When you see Charlie Weis say [Montana] wanted to stay alive just to see the football team play one more time, it really brings home that everyone at Notre Dame is in a position to help people that I don’t think we realize.”