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Team Ari at Bat… April 19, 2017

AriBillboardBy Ann Needle
Stow’s Ari Schultz and his family have become the cornerstone of a major community effort to support them through an almost incomprehensible situation. The good news is 5-year-old heart transplant recipient Ari is improving, while friends and neighbors work to muster the financial support the family needs to re-build their mold-infested home.

On the health front, Ari is now off the life support machine at Boston Children’s Hospital and, with continued improvement,  the medical team was able to take out his breathing tube this past weekend. “Still has a long way to go, but this is pretty big,” according to Ari’s dad, Mike.  “His heart needs rest given what he went through, so he’s resting.”

The home will also take time to re-build, and, thanks in part to the community’s help,  the Schultzes are now renting a home for six months during construction.

Meanwhile, both financial and emotional support continues to pour in. Center School teachers put together a blood drive in Ari’s honor last month at the Stow Community Center accompanied by a toy drive for BCH patients.

Emma’s Cafe in the Shaw’s Plaza reported it ran out of IyAri wristbands on Saturday, which were $5 each. And, among several Ari events outside of Stow, Schultz family friends held a fundraiser last Saturday at the Doubletree Hotel in Danvers to help offset the cost of building a new home.

And there are plenty more opportunities available to help out.

 Joining Team Ari
Ari Schultz is consumed with Boston sports, avidly following his beloved Boston teams on television from his BCH bed before the transplant. Sharing in the “Team Ari” sports fever is a snap.

Drivers on Rt. 93 South recently glimpsed a billboard advertising WAAF-FM DJ and Stow resident Greg Hill’s Greg Hill Foundation to help out the Schultz family. Donations are tax deductible; go to Family friends also set up a GoFundMe page for donations, at

All sorts of Team Ari items are for sale — t-shirts, baseball jerseys, mugs, magnets — and with all royalties going to the Schulz’s house fund. These items are offered at, type in “Team Ari”.

Coming up, for those hankering for a spring day trip as the weather brightens, there will an Echo of Hope Basket Raffle at Congdon’s Doughnuts on Route 1 (1090 Post Rd.) in Wells, ME, from 5 to 8pm on Saturday, May 6. Organized by a friend who graduated with Ari’s mom, Erica, from Wells High School, Mike Schultz reported the fundraiser will feature more than 150 raffle items, including Red Sox tickets. Mike said the organizers expect about 500 at the event.

Around town, Emma’s Cafe has re-ordered the I {heart} Ari wristbands, which are $5 each and should be back in stock this week. Schulz friend and neighbor Karen Benoit said the annual SpringFest Ice Cream Social this year, the weekend of May 13, will benefit Ari and his family.

Appropriately enough, the Assabet Valley Little League is dedicating the upcoming season to Ari, Benoit said. The season kicks off with a parade on April 23. “And as the family always does, [it was] thinking about others, asking if the banner for the AVLL parade would have the Donate Life [organ donation awareness] logo on it as well,” which it will, Benoit noted.

To track Ari health updates and Team Ari events, there is the “For the Love of Ari” Facebook page, as well as Mike Schultz’s Echo of Hope blog, at