By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – The late Greg Montalbano was best known for his skills on the baseball diamond, pitching for St. John’s High School, Northeastern University, the Red Sox organization and the Worcester Tornadoes. But Montalbano was also an avid outdoorsman, who loved to backpack, camp, fly fish, and canoe down rivers in Maine. Many of those hobbies were ones he participated in as a member of Troop 100 in Westborough, where he also earned his Eagle Scout rank.
As someone who was stricken with cancer himself, he volunteered numerous times to play in and speak at fundraisers for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund. Sadly, Montalbano lost his own battle with cancer in 2009, just days before he was to turn 32.
On July 7, the current members of Montalbano’s former Boy Scout troop, as well as Scouting officials, family members and friends honored his legacy with the dedication of a new archery pavilion at Camp Resolute in Bolton.
The Color Guard from Troop 100 first presented the colors and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance before Ian Johnson, a member of the Westborough Board of Selectmen and friend of the Montalbano family, addressed the audience.
“From his days attending Mass. Junior Conservation Camp and his years growing up in Troop 100, Greg learned skills and followed passions that remained part of his life,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained that Montalbano had “envisioned the creation of a golf tournament with the fitting baseball name – One Ball Two Strikes – that would raise money to help youth suffering from life-threatening illnesses as well as benefiting organizations that supported youth recreation and activities.”
Although Montalbano did not live to see that vision come true, his family and friends honored his wish, by creating the One Ball Two Strikes Foundation, which held an annual tournament for five years, raising over $160,000. Some that money was used to build the new archery pavilion.
“While many of you did not have the privilege of personally knowing Greg, I wanted to leave you with some words that I think best describe Greg. Greg was trustworthy, Greg was loyal, Greg was helpful. He was friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful and thrifty. Greg was brave, he was clean, and he was reverent,” Johnson said.
“Most of you probably recognize those as the 12 points of the Scout Law and I could think of no better words in which to describe Greg today. So to all you Scouts as you recite the Law throughout your time in Scouting, think a little bit harder about what those words mean and how you can live your life like Greg lived his,” he added.
Also speaking at the dedication on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America Knox Trail Council was Matthew J. Budz, Scout executive/CEO.
“I know that Greg had a deep appreciation for the outdoors. I would like to think that growing up in the Scouting program played a major role in developing that passion,” he said. “It is fitting that his legacy and love for the outdoors will continue to be handed down to thousands of Scouts who will walk through the gates of Camp Resolute.”
Photos/courtesy Ellen Bishop