CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – In the sports world, it’s considered unseemly to run up the score. But Morgan Burhance, a John Jay field-hockey player raising money for a Connecticut-based charity, wouldn’t mind blowing past her fundraising benchmark of $5,500.

As of this writing, the rising senior has already raised a little more than 90 percent of her goal. She’s asked community members to donate as she attempts to score 1,000 goals on a custom-made heart-shaped net in her driveway. The shots are being attempted from 16 yards out, representing a 16-yard hit in field hockey (a free hit for the defense after an offensive player hits the ball over the end line). Burhance has so far made more than 600 goals.

All donations will benefit Healing Hearts Adaptive Recreation, a nonprofit organization in Stamford that provides social and recreational programs for children, teens, and young adults with special needs.

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Healing Hearts offers programming adapted to a young adult’s physical and/or cognitive and developmental challenges while emphasizing peer interactions. The organization’s Club Nights on Fridays encourage members to socialize and play games.

However, because of the pandemic, the charity’s weekly gatherings have been canceled in addition to its main fundraising event.

Burhance had planned to begin a safe floor-hockey program with the participants this spring by using “soft” hockey equipment, teaching the kids skills and teamwork, which had to be postponed. Instead, she found another way to give back.

“Field hockey has taught me the value of teamwork and reaching a goal (no pun intended), so when I made the varsity team at my high school, I was incredibly proud,” Burhance said. “I wanted to share the joy of this sport with the kids at Healing Hearts and, when the coronavirus changed things a few weeks ago, I was determined to find a way to help. I don’t want anyone to be turned away, so I’m hoping this fundraiser will help more kids be able to participate when we can be in-person together again.”

Burhance is fielding donations and posting updates on her Facebook page: “Morgan’s Field Hockey Fundraiser for Healing Hearts.”

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