Grieving Burke praises son

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — In his deep grief, Brian Burke, the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2010 American Olympic hockey team, has pledged to continue the work of his late son.

Brendan Burke, 21, was killed in a Feb. 5 car crash and in the wake of that tragedy, his grieving father has sent a letter of gratitude to those who offered their condolences in which he promises to further his son’s work “in breaking down walls in society.”

“Brendan has empowered a large number of young men to step forward and make public their sexuality,” Burke wrote. “I pledge to continue Brendan’s courageous message of tolerance and acceptance. That portion of Brendan’s wonderful life will not end with his passing.”

Brendan, who attended Miami (Ohio) University and worked with the school’s varsity hockey team, publicly revealed last year that he was gay. His father was outspoken in his support.

Brian Burke is asking people to make donations to the Xaverian Brothers High School (XLI Program) or to Miami University men’s hockey in memory of his son.

Donations can be made to: The Miami University Fund Office of Development, 725 E Chestnut St. Oxford, Ohio USA 45056 or Xavierian Leadership Institute c/o Xaverian Brothers High School 800 Clapboardtree St. Westwood Ma. USA 02090.

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