DANVERS — A Duggan family party on St. Patrick’s Day weekend was bound to be epic.
Throw in an Olympic silver medal celebration for the second time in five years, and the weekend became perfect.
More than 200 of Meghan Duggan’s family members and close friends came out to celebrate with, and for, her Saturday at the Danversport Yacht Club, a outpouring of love and affection for the young woman who captained the United States women’s hockey team to an Olympic silver medal in Sochi, Russia last month.
Spirits were high and traditional Irish music played over the sound system as everyone, from octogenarians to infants, came out to laud Danvers’ favorite daughter. There was plenty of food and drink, even more laughs, and stories, both old and new, told in a gathering that felt much more intimate than the number of folks on hand suggested.
Maybe that was deliberate. The Duggan family is, after all, large and extremely close knit, and their friends extend as a virtual second set of kin. They’re all fiercely loyal to and proud of their favorite hockey player, and when it comes time to kick back and revel in all things Meghan, they’re more than happy to do so.
“I mentioned this (earlier Saturday). I said, ‘I promise there’s no one here that has a family like I do,’” Duggan said during a quiet moment, speaking not only of her actual relatives but her cohorts as well. “They’re lifetime friends. We’ve all been together through everything, everyone’s experienced thick and thin and they’ve been my No. 1 supporters since Day 1.
“One of my favorite things about any of the journeys I’ve been on when I’ve left here and come back,” she added, “is coming back and sharing it with these people.”