Abercrombie continues to flourish, with community support

Ben Abercrombie and friends at the recent Bowl for Ben event. Photo by John Field

2 min read

Five years from his life-changing football injury, Ben Abercrombie continues his journey through Harvard, among a community which fiercely supports one of its most inspiring members.

Following his spinal cord injury, the Benson M. Abercrombie ’21 Fund was established by the Harvard Varsity Club (HVC) to assist the Abercrombie family with the significant medical and continuing care expenses they incur. Three annual community events are held to support the fund, including El Jefe’s Ben Abercrombie Day, Bowl for Ben, and 3.2 for Ben.

Though El Jefe’s has a new home at 14 Brattle St. in Harvard Square, owner John Schall’s annual Ben Abercrombie Day continues just the same when the fundraiser returns for a fifth year Dec. 6. All members of the Harvard community are invited to patronize the restaurant from 8 a.m. Dec. 6 to 4 a.m. Dec. 7, with all proceeds from the day (including gift card sales) donated to the Abercrombie Fund. To date, the El Jefe’s fundraiser has raised over $125,000.

Last month, the HVC hosted its third annual 3.2 for Ben, a fundraising event that began under the gathering restrictions of the pandemic. This year, nearly 500 participants independently ran or walked 3.2 miles, at their own time and pace. The distance was chosen to honor the jersey number 32 that Abercrombie wore for the Crimson. The HVC also hosted its third annual Bowl for Ben fundraiser on Nov. 18 in Boston’s Seaport District, on the eve of the 138th playing of The Game. More than 150 supporters turned out to celebrate the guest of honor.

In his first varsity football game in 2017, Abercrombie suffered a spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed below the neck. The economics concentrator has continued his education while battling years of medical treatment and extensive rehabilitation.