When 16-year-old Charlotte Rooney heads to TD Garden on Nov. 24, she’ll be sporting her new Bruins jersey, signed on the spoked B by members of the 2017 team.
On Friday at West Tisbury library, Charlotte received the white, black, and gold jersey from young adult librarian Laura Hearn, with her mom, Rachel Rooney, and her friend, Emma Van Lohuizen, 16, watching.
“We want to thank you for participating and we want to thank you for being a Bruins fan,” Ms. Hearn said to Charlotte. “And, of course, we want to see you wearing this.”
Charlotte participated in the West Tisbury library’s summer reading program and was entered into the drawing for prizes that could have included a ride on a Zamboni, signed pucks, or a signed jersey.
For Charlotte, who has been going to Bruins games with her father, Sean Rooney, since she was 7 years old, the jersey was a welcome gift from the team. “That’s cool,” she said as Ms. Hearn handed it over to her and she tried it on for the first time. “My dad’s going to die, though.”
Truth is, Sean Rooney, a UPS driver on the Island who makes frequent stops at The Times, has been bubbling with enthusiasm about his daughter’s prize since early October, when he first told a Times reporter about it. The Bruins signed it Oct. 18, and there were several agonizing weeks waiting for it to be delivered to the Island.
“It’s awesome,” Charlotte said. “I’ve never had one before.”
Being a Bruins fan from the Island has its challenges. Fans either have to seek those Saturday matinee tickets at the Garden or go to a night game that includes a hotel stay off-Island, Rachel Rooney said. So purchasing an official jersey, which costs more than $100, according to the Bruins website, was an expense the Rooneys couldn’t add to their Bruins adventures. Charlotte would often wear her father’s Bruins gear to the games.
“I grew up watching with my family on TV,” Charlotte said. “It’s always been our thing to go to a game. My dad got me into it; he loves hockey.”
The Bruins first joined forces with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in 2009 to promote summer reading. Over this past summer, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara (Charlotte’s favorite Bruin), Brad Marchand, and other Bruins helped libraries across the commonwealth develop “Favorite Books of the Boston Bruins” reading lists.
Charlotte, who estimates she read 10 books over the summer, said it’s a pastime she enjoys. It helps that her mom, Rachel Rooney, is a reference librarian.
“The Bruins have always supported summer reading,” Rachel Rooney said. “I just love that.”
Ms. Hearn said it was her idea to enter Charlotte in the contest. Charlotte’s name was entered with two other teens at for the 12-17 age level, she said. The library was also able to enter up to five children at two other age levels, but it was Charlotte’s name that got picked.
West Tisbury library has been participating in the contest for years — and has a signed hockey stick to prove it — but this is the first time an Island reader has netted a victory.
In an earlier interview, Rachel Rooney said her daughter, a mild-mannered Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School student, becomes a little crazed when she dons a Bruins jersey to watch a game: “It’s kind of cool to see my inward girl show another side to her.”