KAEO Startups: Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund
Published: October 2011
KAEO The Details:
Founder: Peter Trovato
Concept: Non-profit to support the education of children who lost a parent in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
The Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF) was founded in 2004 with a sim-ple goal: to provide educational assistance grants to the children of Massachu-setts Servicemembers who were killed while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
“Dive into any project you feel extremely passionate about,” says Peter Trovato, Foun-der of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund. Peter suggests that you need to trust your gut instinct and if this desire keeps you up, night after night, you need to take a chance and passionately commit to your calling.
That’s exactly what happened to Peter back in 2004 when he was the captain of the Uni-versity of Massachusetts Men’s Hockey Team. What started as an honors capstone project for UMass’ Commonwealth College Honors Program evolved into the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund. The MSLF’s primary focus is to pay for post-secondary education for eligible kids in Massachusetts who had a parent who was killed in Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom. Over 110 Servicemembers from Massachusetts have been killed in these Operations. A total of 75 children are eligible to receive funding through the MSLF program.
The program has been widely recognized throughout Massachusetts. The Massa-chusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund has been featured on CNN, NESN, NBC’s Nightly News, NPR, Boston Globe, Boston Herald and many more media outlets.
Peter, now a full-time Harvard MBA student, says he came up with the idea for the fund in part thanks to the UMass Hockey coaches who made an effort to have the team involved in the community. Peter was a Big Brother in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In two recent events over the summer, Peter was successfully able to raise $220,000. The first event was at a benefit honoring ex-Massachusetts Veterans Services Secretary Thomas G. Kelly and the second event was in conjunction with a Bruins’ Stanley Cup Trophy viewing party. Peter hopes to continue with these events in the future.
Peter has raised $3.1 million for the MSLF since 2004.
“We want their kids to have the ability to go to school for free,” says Peter. Cur-rently, five children of fallen servicemembers are attending college because of the MSLF program.
For more information, or to donate to the MSLF, visit www.MSLFund.org.