When President John F. Kennedy gave his famous 1961 inaugural address and delivered patriotic call to action, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," he inspired a generation to reach for the moon and pass the most far-reaching equal rights act in United States history.
On the birthday weekend of our country, former Newburyport High School athlete Dave Freeman has taken that heed in light of the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and is seeking to make his country a better place.
A business major at the University of New Hampshire, Freeman said he often watches the news to stay in touch with current events pertaining to the economy because of his interest in working in the financial district in Boston after school.
However, after seeing the pictures of ecological disaster in the gulf and the dramatic impact it was having on so many businesses in that region of the country, specifically the fishing industry, Freeman took it upon himself to begin fundraising efforts in the Newburyport area for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.
"What drove me was seeing the pictures of what happened; it's not a pretty picture. Most of the people in the fishing business are out of work," said Freeman, who believes this spill is further evidence the U.S. needs stop relying on oil and instead invest in alternative energies. "I recently read a story about a guy that committed suicide because he was so depressed about losing his business.
"I thought about if there was an oil spill up here, the fishermen in our area would be devastated, too, and I saw no one was doing anything, so I discussed it with my best friend, Teddy O'Connor, and Dave Knock of Hard Knocks Gym in Amesbury and came up with this idea," continued Freeman, who said both Knock and Kevin Costner with his oil spill cleanup machine have been big inspirations. "Dave (Knock) gave me some contacts, and so I've been calling around. I'm hoping people will donate, because it's a great cause."