By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Tom Smith grew up in Westborough with his brothers Paul and John and his sisters Mary (Cullen), Marguerite (Kerr), Sharrie (Grady) and Jean. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, taught at the U.S. Naval Academy (retiring as a commander), and then retired as the director of information technologies at the Mass Educational Financing Authority (MEFA). He was diagnosed with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2006, a battle he lost in 2011 at the age of 63. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, his daughters Heather, Heidi and Meagan, their spouses and six granddaughters.
“Tom’s greatest legacy,” shared his sister Marguerite, “was his consummate generous and loving spirit despite the devastation of this challenging disease, an inspiration to all who knew him.”
In honor of Smith’s memory, his family will be hosting the “Tom Smith’s Team” fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Knights of Columbus, 17 Willow St., Westborough, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the annual three-day 50 Mile MS Challenge Walk and the New England Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. A $10 donation at the door is suggested.
The fundraiser will feature music performed and donated by local classic rock band Tension. The band consists of five Shrewsbury fathers: John O’Brien (lead singer), Tim Proch (lead guitar), Joe Arcabascio (bass guitar), Joe Cantin (rhythm guitar) and Steve Grip (drums).
In addition to music, there will be drinks available for purchase as well as raffle prizes from local establishments such as Wegmans, JP’s Restaurant Pub and Tavolino Restaurant, tickets to Pawtucket Red Sox games, and more.
Each year Smith’s sisters commit to raise $5,000 for the National MS Society through the three day 50 Mile MS Challenge Walk. This fundraiser is their main event for the year. They also have sponsored fundraising with local merchants and accept individual donations and matching gifts as well.
Despite the increased therapies available to those with other forms of the disease, effective therapies for those with more aggressive MS have been slower to develop, Marguerite said.
“This is one of many reasons we walk – to boost the research for more available treatments. Understanding the nerve damage in MS and related disorders is close at hand,” she added. “Our own goal is to continue as long as we can walk with a goal of at least $5,000 each year!”
For more information about the 50 Mile MS Challenge or to make an online donation, visit the MS Challenge website for Tom Smith’s team at: