By Liam Leonard-Solis
Jason Bennett loves baseball and punk rock. Bennet, a 45-year-old architect who has lived in Mission Hill for 28 years, has used music and sports to preserve community.
For the past 15 years, his band, Jason Bennett and the Resistance, has sponsored two Mission Hill Little League teams. The group plays annual benefit shows, often raising upwards of $2,000. All of the proceeds support the teams and go toward equipment for children who cannot afford to play.
“We found out there were kids who were on teams that couldn’t play,” he said. “And so we said, ‘They should be able to play. We’ll do something about it.’”
The band has played at venues around boston, from the Middle East Upstairs to Brighton Music Hall. They also tour nationally and record albums, which can be heard on Spotify.
Bennett loves the fact that he knows most of his neighbors. But he worries that his neighborhood is losing that sense of community it used to have. With an influx of new residents and developers, Bennett believes that affordability has become Mission Hill’s greatest problem.
“We’re trying to buy a house. But people like me might have to move away, which I don’t want to do because I’ve lived here for so long,” he said. “This is my neighborhood, but that’s a big problem for people who have grown up here. They can’t afford to buy a house here.”
While housing can feel like an insurmountable problem, Bennett has helped build community through his fundraising for youth baseball. His goal is to preserve everything he’s loved about living in Mission Hill over the past three decades.
“I’ve had people stop me in the street and hug me ‘cause their kid’s team won the championship,” he said. “That’s really sort of why we do it. Kids wanted to play baseball.”