Hockey’s most coveted trophy has a unique perk: the current champions keep possession of it until the next season’s winner is crowned. It’s tradition that each of the victorious players gets to spend 24 hours with the Cup, essentially doing whatever he wants with it.
On Thursday, it was Nick Bonino’s turn to host the hardware, and he brought it to his home state of Connecticut (where he, his wife Lauren, and daughter Maisie still spend their summers), to share it with his family, friends, and hometown community. Nick and the Cup traveled from stop to stop in an UberPREMIUM, and we were so grateful to assist in the journey that we donated $100 for every mile along the trophy’s route to a charity close to Nick’s heart and home: the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Start | TPC River Highlands Golf Course, Cromwell
Trip Odometer: 0
We met up with Nick just as he finished a few holes of golf (with the Cup in tow) at TPC River Highlands, where he’s been a member for years and often plays with his wife. He buckled the Cup into the backseat, because, safety first!
Stop 1 | Nick’s dad’s office, Hartford
Trip Odometer: 5
From there, the trophy’s first stop was to visit Nick’s father, who works in the HVAC, refrigeration, and plumbing equipment industry, at his office. “I chose my stops so that I could celebrate with the people who influenced me along the way,” Nick says, “and I knew my dad would be proud to share the Cup with his co-workers.”
Stop 2 | Nick’s parents’ house, Unionville
Trip Odometer: 17
Like any good son, he then went to see his mom. “She wanted her picture taken on the front porch with her flowers in the Cup,” he says. Home has always been a special place for Nick; his favorite childhood memories are playing hockey and basketball with the neighborhood kids in the driveway.
Stop 3 | Visit with grandparents, West Hartford
Trip Odometer: 26
Next stop: pasta with Nana and Poppa. “When I’m in Pittsburgh, I really miss my family, most of all my grandparents,” Nick says. “They’re in their 90s, and they’re my biggest supporters.” In what may be a first for the trophy, Nick and his grandparents ate a pasta lunch—Nana’s special recipe—straight out of the Cup.
Stop 4 | Avon Old Farms, Avon
Trip Odometer: 32
Nick spent 2 years at the prep school, and it remains a special place to him. “Avon played a crucial role in my development, both athletically and as a person,” he says. “I matured a lot here, and it was the perfect venue to share the Cup with the public.” Over 6,000 fans lined up to bask in the trophy’s glory, and together with Nick, they donated $6,000 to the organization at the last stop of the day.
Final Stop | Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford
Trip Odometer: 40
Keeping with the day’s theme of sharing the Cup with his hometown, Nick finished the tour at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “Having a child now, I realize how precious life is, and I wanted to bring the celebration to the patients and families at the hospital.” In that same spirit of giving back to our Connecticut community and with a final odometer count of 40 miles traveled, we were very happy to make a $4,000 donation of our own to the hospital. It was an honor to play a role in facilitating the Cup’s journey on such a special day. As Nick said, “I’m so happy we were able to fit it all in!”
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