NY Sports Day

Fordham, Iona Rugby Standouts Among ‘Life of Significance’ Award Finalists

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company has announced the three finalists for the 2019 Life of Significance Award, which will be presented during the upcoming Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, set for Friday, May 31st through Sunday, June 2nd at Talen Energy Stadium in suburban Philadelphia.

After receiving 19 nominations for the 2019 Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award, Penn Mutual has narrowed the field to three finalists. These individuals have consistently upheld the values of the rugby community and Penn Mutual. The area finalists are:

  • Matthew Crowe, Iona College; Hometown: Malverne, NY: Matt is the leader of the Iona Chapter of Midnight Run, an organization that coordinates 30 or more student volunteers on a monthly basis to donate food, clothes and other essential items to the homeless of New York City. In addition, he has traveled internationally to help the poor and marginalized in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland and serves as a campus Minister, organizing a bi-weekly Bible Study that brings people of different faiths and backgrounds together to discuss different viewpoints. He has also spent time volunteering with several organizations in New York City. Matt has worked with Abraham House, a group that offers first time offenders an alternative to incarceration. With Project Bro, Matt helped underserved youth through mentoring, advocating, and helping them graduate high school. Finally, he has carried out the mission of Wellspring, a group that helps “families experiencing crisis take the next step forward, tap into their own resilience and strength, and build community.”
  • Kraig Puccia, Fordham University; Hometown: Whitestone, NY: Kraig is a member of Fordham’s GO! (Global Outreach) Program and has gone to Bethel, Alaska to learn about issues of drug and alcohol abuse in the local community. In preparation for the visit, he helped raise thousands of dollars in donations to aid programs in the Bethel community to combat drug and alcohol abuse. While in Alaska, Kraig primarily assisted the Tundra Women’s Coalition, which works to protect women in the community from their partners because of alcohol or drug-induced episodes that threaten their safety. He spent last year as a volunteer with the Domestic Violence Bureau at the Queens District Attorney’s Office. This summer, Kraig will continue his altruism working at the Veterans Advocacy Project through the Urban Justice Center doing pro-bono work for neglected veterans throughout New York City.  Kraig is also a volunteer for the Bronx Italian-American History Initiative, which works to preserve the cultural past of various parts of the Bronx by collecting, recording, and archiving the stories of past residents.

The other finalist is Jeston Glish, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

The Life of Significance Award is presented to one student-athlete participating in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, either male or female, who upholds the values of the rugby community and Penn Mutual. The finalists demonstrate characteristics such as integrity, respect and loyalty-on and off the pitch– through mentorship, giving back to their community and working with various charitable organizations.

This prestigious award was inspired by the book, “Living a Life of Significance,” by Joseph Jordan, which details the positive impact the life insurance industry has on society.

The winner of this award receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice and $1,000 worth of Rhino Rugby equipment is donated to their college rugby team.

The 2019 Life of Significance Award will be presented at a private event on May 31. The winner will also be recognized in a live on-field presentation during ESPN’s broadcast of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.


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