Snowflake Kickball Festival scores spring-like weather
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Perhaps global warming is altering a longtime fundraiser in Marlborough. Sixteen teams, each consisting of at least 10 players, could dress for springtime Feb. 25 while competing in the 16th annual Snowflake Kickball Festival. After unseasonably warm weather melted snow and caused muddy grounds at Ghiloni Park, the event was relocated to outdoor fields covered with artificial turf at ForeKicks.
Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will help the family of Nolan Lane, 6, a kindergartener at Sgt. Charles J. Jaworek Elementary School. Nolan was diagnosed with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects organ development. Multiple hospitalizations included a liver transplant at age 5. After experiencing complications, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and tumors in his gastrointestinal tract. Now, his lymphoma is in remission. Nolan attended the kickball tournament with his family.
Last year’s tournament was also relocated when melted snow made fields muddy at Ghiloni Park. On that warm day, kickball was played on the fields behind 1Lt. Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School. The previous recent tournaments were held during what is considered typical New England weather, noted this year’s event co-chair Kim Otte.
“The year before that, there was a ton of snow because we got all those storms one after another and it was in the mid-30s,” she recalled. “And the year before that, it was below zero and a lot of snow.”
Also serving as event co-chair was her husband Joe Otte. Pat Forrest chaired the first several tournaments, assisted by organizers of the annual Forrest Memorial Road Race, which benefits Greater Marlborough Programs, Inc. The sport played at the first few fundraisers was softball until organizers decided that kickball would be more family friendly.
For several recent years, Michelle Young served as event chair. She returned to the fields this year to play kickball with the team sponsored by City Councilor Don Landers. During her time as chair, she was assisted by the Marlborough Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 3565. This year, the Marlborough Eagles were represented with two teams.
The tournament concluded with a trophy presented to the winning team, Pitch Intense of the World Adult Kickball Association.
Donations from proceeds also went to help medical costs for a community member diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, and the Jonathan Dutchka Memorial Scholarship Fund. Dutchka was a 2002 Marlborough High School alum, who suddenly passed away of a heart attack at age 27 in 2011. The scholarship is awarded to MHS graduates with an interest in music.
Funds were raised with team entry fees and base sponsors. Fundraising continued with raffles afterward at a party held at the Prospector East Saloon, where its owner Bob Kays donated food.
A Lane family friend created a Go Fund Me Page: www.gofundme.com/nolanstrong.
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