Assabet honors alumni family prior to basketball game

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By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer

Members of the Assabet Girls Basketball team pose while making purple ribbons for the pregame ceremony.
Photo/Dakota Antelman

Marlborough – Assabet Valley Regional High School raised money and awareness for pancreatic cancer care before a Girls Basketball game against Hudson High School Dec. 8. The event honored Mario Orangio, a parent of two former Assabet athletes, who passed away due to pancreatic cancer Nov. 7.

Assabet Basketball Coach John Silk and Softball Coach Michael O’Brien, who partnered to organize the event, expected to raise $3,000 for the nonprofit Project Purple through donations and ticket sales for the game. During a pregame ceremony, Silk honored the Orangio family with a check representing those donations and a special basketball honoring them.

“He cared about softball and he cared about his daughters like nothing else,” O’Brien said. “Those same players that were on our team, they want to come back and show support to the Orangios now.”

Though Silk and O’Brien spearheaded the event’s planning, both noted the contributions from the rest of the community. Colleagues John Hughes and Dennis Whitney both led students in creating advertisements. Likewise, Silk’s players gathered in an Assabet conference room before the game to create purple ribbons for the event.

The community effort, Silk said, represented the core of Assabet morals.

“That’s what Assabet is,” he said. “When you leave here, you’re never forgotten.”

Mario Orangio’s three daughters, (l to r) Katlyn, Jaclyn and Jocelyn pose with his granddaughter Harper during the pregame ceremony.
photo/submitted