By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Maureen Chiasson Young of Hudson, who passed away unexpectedly last June at age 49, is remembered by many as a Marlborough-based real estate broker with a natural knack for networking. Business contacts often became fast friends with whom she’d interact at various fundraisers and community events.
Now, those friends can join her family and former classmates to raise funds in her memory, noted her sister Claudine McManus.
“Everyone was asking what we can do together to remember Maureen,” she explained. “We thought it would be a great idea to raise money and give back to the community – just like she would have done.”
Plans are underway for the first Maureen Chiasson Young Memorial Fund 5K Walk. Joining McManus in the effort are their sister Gayle Ripley, other family members, and Hudson High School class of 1983 alumni including Jill Hovagimian, Denise Gouveia and Carole Jones. The walk is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m., beginning and ending at Morgan Bowl.
Afterward, raffles and snacks will be available. Event organizers are currently requesting businesses to donate raffle items.
A portion of the proceeds will go toward two scholarships for graduating HHS students who share Chiasson Young’s passion for community service, noted McManus.
“We want to do this for kids who are just as involved as Maureen was in the community,” she said. “Even when Maureen was in high school Student Council, she was always giving back. She enjoyed being around people and helping them. Her heart was bigger than life and she stopped at nothing to help anyone in need.”
Chiasson Young regularly volunteered her time with Greater Marlborough Programs, Inc., an agency that helps children and adults with developmental disabilities learn to help themselves. She participated annually in the Jennifer Hunter Yates Sarcoma Foundation Walk, which also takes place at Morgan Bowl. Meanwhile, she frequently assisted with social and networking events of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce.
A contribution from the walk’s proceeds will also be given to its partner, the See A New Sun (SANS) Foundation, a suicide prevention organization. Among its services is a support group for grieving family members, McManus explained.
“When Maureen passed away, her boss told me about the SANS meetings in Littleton and I started attending,” she said. “It’s a small group that talks about our loves ones and getting through it.”
According to the SANS website (www.4sans.org): “For most people, suicide is a subject too uncomfortable to discuss. Add the ‘it won’t happen to anyone close to me’ factor, and it’s no wonder that suicide is largely ignored as a leading cause of death in the U.S. According to a 2000 National Vital Statistics report, every 43 seconds somebody attempts suicide. Every 18 minutes somebody dies by suicide.”
McManus hopes the walk will also raise awareness.
“Maureen had been sick for years, but people on the outside looking in would have never noticed because she was so full of life and such a fun person,” she said. “[The day she passed away] was just a down day for her. The next day could have been perfectly fine. People need to know that help is available for them.”
The walk entry fee is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students, and free for children age 6 and under. Register by Wednesday, April 15, to receive a free T-shirt. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. Pre-register online at signmeup.com/105911.
Those unable to walk who want to donate can send a check payable to MCYMF, P.O. Box 175, Hudson, Mass. 01749. Raffle items such as gift cards can also be mailed.
McManus expects a good turnout.
“Maureen touched so many lives,” she said.