A 27-year-old man who raised $100,000 to fight ALS drowned early Saturday after diving off a building and into a harbor on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Corey Griffin, a Scituate, Massachusetts, native was close friends with Pete Frates, a Boston College baseball player suffering from ALS and who founded the “Ice-Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and funds to fight the disease.
The challenge has gone viral in recent weeks. Griffin was in Nantucket to continue raising funds for an ALS charity.
Around 2 a.m. Saturday, Griffin dove from the “Juice Guys” building on Straight Wharf. He came to the surface once but then went under and did not return. Off-duty lifeguard Colin Perry was working nearby and made several dives, eventually recovering Griffin’s body from the bottom of the harbor. Emergency Responders performed CPR, but a doctor at Nantucket Cottage Hospital pronounced Griffin dead an hour after his dive, a Nantucket Police report said.
Griffin was a member of the Boston College hockey team (2006-07) but later transferred to Babson College, WCVB, Boston, reported. He went on to work with the NHL Alumni Pro-Am tournament to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital. An hour before his dive off Juice Guys, Griffin called his father.
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“He was the happiest guy in the world,” Robert Griffin said. “He called me last night and told me he was in paradise.”
Griffin was a positive, motivated and active man, family members said. He was known to organize friendly games with his younger cousins and acted as a role model for them. Professionally, Griffin worked at Bain Capital and recently began working at RANE, a finance company in New York City.
Words can not describe.... Anyone who knew him truly feels cheated right now. Corey Griffin was one of the great ones, doing great things.
— Doyle (@PJDoyle17) August 17, 2014
Frates wrote a tribute to Griffin on his Facebook wall:
"Team FrateTrain lost a good friend today, Corey Griffin. Helping out was nothing new for Griff. He held his own event for me back in 2012, just a few months after diagnosis. He worked his butt off these last few weeks for ALS. We texted everyday, planning and scheming ways to raise funds and plan events. Julie, myself, the Frates family and Team FrateTrain sends their love and support to the South Shore and the Griffin family. God Bless. RIP Corey."