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Black & Gold and Green

Ference hopes to educate fans about the BP Oil Disaster.

Tuesday, 07.13.2010 / 10:17 AM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Black & Gold and Green
BostonBruins.com -- Andrew Ference is no stranger to Green issues and this summer he has added one more project to his list -- the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ference: Feeling Better
Ference also spoke with BostonBruins.com about his recovery and about his feelings about next season's Bruins.

"[I feel] great actually," said Ference. "I’ve been having really good workouts back in Vernon.
"I pretty much have no limitations for working out right now."
While summer time is usually a time for relaxation, Ference has been working hard -- not just on environmental issues, but primarily on his game as well.
"It always helps to be around friends and stuff like that but I’ve been working out just as hard [as normal] and you can push each other," explained Ference. "Summer seems so short to me it seems like the season is just around the corner it doesn’t feel drawn out.
"I don't need any [extra] motivation [to continue working out]."
This coming season he will be a veteran on a youthful Bruins team. It's a big responsibility, but one that Ference embraces.
"You just have to be yourself," said Ference when describing his leadership style. "I guess it’s almost along the same lines that you understand your responsibilities and set the right example and take care of yourself and play the way you’re supposed to and it’s just what you do."
Ference explained he tries to lead by example.
"Just be yourself and work like you do," he said. "That sets a good example for people.
"Just do the right thing and play the right way."
"I think that’s a big responsibility of veteran guys."

--Abigail Seaver

Yesterday, from New Orleans, Ference talked about his work on behalf of the Sierra Club.

"You can tell everyone is talking about it," said Ference via cell phone. "It’s obviously affecting everyone in different ways."

Today, July 13, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and his wife Krista will view the damage caused by the oil spill.

The Ference family will be joined by fellow professional and Olympic athletes including former New York Ranger Mike Richter, the NFL's Mike Alstott and Ovie Mughelli, NASCAR's Leilani Munter, and Olympians Stacey Cook, Loree Smith, and Gary Morgan.

This visit is being organized by the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States.

Ference and the group met in New Orleans on Monday and left for the coastal boat tour tomorrow earlier this morning. The athletes will leave from the Myrtle Grove Marina to witness the damage firsthand and demonstrate their support for Gulf Coast communities.

A meeting with Richter was how Ference entered into a partnership with the Sierra Club.

"Mike Richter...he’s got his fingers all over the place and I think he hooked up with the Sierra Club to get some athletes to come down here," said Andrew. "For us to be talking about these things we need to have a first hand knowledge...and witness it and hopefully use that to make sure that doesn’t happen again."

Educating the public is high on his agenda.

"That [way] we can keep it in the news and help people understand how devastating it is to a massive region down here," said Ference. "I’m one of those people that has a tough time sitting down doing nothing if I feel something is wrong."

Athletes, particularly professional athletes, are uniquely positioned to help bring issues to the forefront.

"I’m not necessarily saying that I agree with it, but it’s the way it is," explained Ference. "Whether it’s a musician or actor or athlete...in the culture that we live in you automatically have a soap box and you automatically become a role model to some people.

"I think it’s a huge responsibility.

"No matter how big or small that spotlight night be, I think that you have to be cautious of it and do the right thing," continued Ference. "But that’s not the main reason [to stay involved].

"I think if I never played hockey in my life I’d still try as hard as I can to make the world better for my kids. I think that is a human nature thing not just necessarily being in the right position."

In terms of his personal goals for his trip to the Gulf, Ference admitted that there is not much he or the group can do physically or immediately.

"Tomorrow we’re basically going to observe it, speak with media about it or about how we feel," said Ference. "It’ll be media exposure but the bigger picture is what you do from here.
"It’s what we do for the rest of our lives and I hope to make stronger connections with like-minded people and be involved for making sure we keep the pressure on companies and keep the pressure on governments to make the right decisions when it comes to the environment.

"I’m not naive enough to think that it’s just cut and dry -- that everybody can just be 'green' and do the right thing with the snap of the fingers. There is business, peoples jobs and there is a lot of risk, but like it or not you need to help the environment.

"As much as we like to separate ourselves and like to think that we’re directly connected to the earth and nature that we are...so like I said I want to do everything I can to make sure my kids grow up in a good planet."

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