Message in a bottle nets unexpected response


Shrewsbury – When Aidan Moon set afloat his message in a bottle, the best he could have hoped for was that someone would recover it before it sank. He had no idea that he would meet the recipient or make over 50 friends in the process.

He dropped the message, “My name is Aidan. I like fried chicken. What do you like?” into Lake Quinsigamond and included a return address in the event of an unlikely discovery. Weeks later, the same bottle bobbed up against a boat belonging to the Shrewsbury High School crew team. Assistant Coach Steve Moriarty scooped it out of the water and knew at once that the message required a response. All 54 members of the team were in agreement.

“All the girls fell in love with him right then,” Moriarty said.

Moriarty wrote his own response about his affinity for lobster and strawberry ice cream and each team member, in turn, wrote down what she liked and signed the card. In addition, the team pooled money to provide Aidan with the resources to attain his desired fried chicken. Moriarty knows firsthand the excitement that a response could generate for Aidan. As a child, he had attached a message to a balloon and let the wind take it. He never forgot the feeling he had when he received a note three years later from someone in Marlborough who had found it.

After finding the message on a Thursday, he decided that he would personally travel to see Moon and deliver the team’s note. Instead of parting ways there, he invited Moon to attend the team’s last race of the year, the state championship.

Despite the magnitude of the races that day, the team made sure to take time to introduce Moon to the sport and make him feel like a special guest. He tested out an ERG rowing machine and compared different boats. When two crews went out to race, they handed Moon to the two crews coming in and their enthusiasm never waned. His inspired treatment culminated when racers chanted his name before their race.

The team members could have easily dismissed the message and focused on their training. Coach Moriarty certainly didn’t need to deliver a response by hand or by mail. They didn’t have to invite Moon to their race lest he become a distraction and they didn’t need to keep him occupied in the midst of their big day. However, they recognized their ability to bring a sparkle to Moon’s sky-blue eyes. And it turns out they can hold their own on the water as well, taking third place honors in the competition.

The team’s goodwill wasn’t lost on Moon. He had one more message to send. It read, “I love you girls and coaches. I went to KFC. Thank you for the dollars, Aidan Moon.”

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=8387

Posted by on Nov 26 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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