Mickey Cassella receives Heroes Among Us award from the Boston Celtics
November 19, 2008
Mickey Cassella, Children's Director of Physical Therapy, was recently honored by the Boston Celtics as one of the Heroes Among Us. Cassella received the award during a Celtics game for establishing the Adaptive Dance Program for children with Down syndrome at the Boston Ballet.
The Adaptive Dance Program is a successful joint venture between Boston Ballet and Children's. Now in its sixth year, the program uses ballet and dance to enhance movements, improve coordination, fitness, balance, focus, and listening for children with Down syndrome. The program was conceived by Cassella who, for more than 30years, has been searching for ways to help kids with physical disabilities. Taught by renowned Boston Ballet instructors, the program fosters a love of dance, creative expression, and boosts children’s self-esteem and self-expression. It began in 2002 as a pilot project with 11 children, and has blossomed to 49 students ranging in ages from 7- to 18-years-old.
|Gianni DiMarco (left), long-time dancer in the Boston Ballet and instructor for the Adaptive Dance Program, and Mickey Cassella (right) accompanied by participants in the program|
The Heroes Among Us Award is presented to an individual or individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community. At each home game, the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these citizens during a special in-game presentation on the legendary parquet floor. In addition, the Boston Celtics and Massachusetts State Lottery will donate four copies of The Boston Celtics Hero Book to a local library in the individual's hometown. To date, over 380 individuals have received the award.
Children's Hospital Boston is one of the nation's premier pediatric medical centers. Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, today it is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, the largest provider of health care to the children of Massachusetts, and home to the world's leading pediatric research enterprise. For more information about Children's, visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.