Corinne Grousbeck dazzles at courtside with her potpourri wardrobe of metallic blouses, perfectly fitting jeans and gnarly motorcycle boots (the parquet floor is cold with the Bruins’ ice underneath, she says). But the wife of Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is more than just the First Lady of Celtics basketball: the former marketing executive at Saatchi & Saatchi is also a powerful advocate for charitable causes who uses her platform and her personal story to help people most in need.
Corinne sits on the board of Watertown’s Perkins School for the Blind, where her son, Campbell, 16 and blind since birth, is a student. She’s also on the board for the trust at Children’s Hospital, on the honorary board of the Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, in Lincoln, and she helped support the launch of the Cradles to Crayons initiative. She’s no sideline supporter, either. Each year at Perkins she hosts a gala for the school, and last year made it her personal mission to raise enough money to supply each student with a personal computer/communications device, tailor-made for blind students. She succeeded. She’s kind of like Kevin Garnett—minus the colorful vocabulary—in her tenaciousness.
Corinne believes in the power of positive attitude, and hers has been tragically tested. At 22, when she was about to marry her long-time sweetheart, her fiancé died in a car accident—on the day of the engagement party. A few years later, Corinne met Wyc Grousbeck at a University of Michigan football game. He was a senior law student and she had just graduated. Says Corinne, it took Wyc about 41 seconds to fall in love with her and it didn’t take her much longer to reciprocate. They moved to California, had a daughter, then a son, Campbell. When Campbell was an infant, doctors discovered he was blind, so Wyc left a successful firm. They sold they house they had just renovated, and moved to Massachusetts so Campbell could attend Perkins, which is considered the nation’s premier school for blind children. She knows her priorities. True success means Campbell having the best education possible.
Eventually, Wyc and his business partners bought the Celtics. The storied franchise had become the joke of the NBA, a very painful and completely unfunny joke for Bostonians. The new ownership, along with coach Doc Rivers and General Manager Danny Ainge, slowly and surely built up the team again, and now it’s where the Celtics are supposed to be: on top. But Corinne says other priorities transcend basketball. She’s impressed, for instance, with the gentleness and sensitivity that players like Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and several other Celtics display as proud papas of newborns. Corinne Grousbeck certainly looks the part of a woman who has it all, but it’s what is underneath her appearance that defines her real role: a soul dedicated to helping those around her, courtside or elsewhere.
To reach some of Corinne’s causes:
www.perkins.org (Perkins School for the Blind)
www.lovelane.org (Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program)
www.cradlestocrayons.org (Cradles to Crayons)
www.chtrust.org (Children’s Hospital Trust)