Jay Nothnagle – A Hero Among Us
A note from Taffy and Jeff Nothnagle:
Friday, April 6 was an amazing night! The Boston Celtics honored our son, Jay as the “Hero Among Us” at their home game against the Chicago Bulls. The Heroes Among Us program began in 1997 when the Celtics wanted to honor people who had made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the community through their unique commitment and spirit. They have honored such a person at each of their home games ever since.
After watching the Celtics warm-ups from court-side, we went to our seats til the end of the first period, when Katie, Jay’s coordinator, took him down to the world famous parquet, waiting for the 1st time-out in the 2nd period for his ceremony. In the 90 seconds of the time out, Jay walked out to center-court while the announcer spoke of his achievements and photos of him went up on the Jumbotron (including sailing, showing off all of his medals, and a photo with Tim Shriver, the Chairman of Special Olympics and son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver). Jay received a long standing ovation as he waved to the 18,000 people in the TD Garden!
As he walked back, fans were high-fiving, congratulating, and taking selfies with him. This continued during the rest of the game back in his seat, getting food with Dave, and even when we walked out after the game, onto the escalators, and beyond!! “Hey Cohasset, I know you! Congratulations!!” We learned during the game that friends were there when we got emails from them, with their congratulations, too!
Jay said, “It was the best night of my life!!”
(. . . and that includes his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, among other wonderful events!) Mom, Dad, and brother, David were blown away, with Jay’s sister, Melissa cheering all the way from the West Coast!
David posted some pictures on Facebook that night, and got hundreds of great “likes” with congrats, one of which was especially moving. A Cohasset High School classmate (class of 1994) wrote: “More men like Jay in this world would make it a better place! So awesome”. We think that is the point of the whole Heroes Among Us award.
Signed by a Proud Family,
Taffy, Jeff, Jay, David, and Melissa