By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson/Marlborough – Organizers of the 18th annual Snowflake Charity Kickball Tournament are seeking base sponsors and teams to compete Saturday, March 2, on the field at Hudson-Concord Elks Lodge 959. Team registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 28. Volunteers organize the tournament to benefit a different cause each year.
This year’s main beneficiary is Connor Walker, a sophomore at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., and a 2017 graduate of Marlborough High School, where he served as football team captain. While playing a college football away-game versus Southern Connecticut State University this past September, Walker suffered a spinal cord injury in a helmet-to-helmet collision. Money raised from the tournament will help defray expenses incurred during his recovery.
After spending a week at Yale New Haven Hospital, he underwent physical and occupational therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown followed by Spaulding Outpatient Center in Framingham. According to his mother Jean in a text to tournament co-chairs, Walker returned to his college campus Jan. 12 and will continue physical therapy in Manchester, N.H. Also, he’s able to walk, but cannot feel sensation in his legs.
Formerly held at Marlborough’s Ghiloni Park, the tournament experienced multiple relocations over the years due to melted snow causing muddy ground. Last year’s tournament took place for the first time at Hudson’s Elks’ field the day after a nor’easter. Returning for the third year are event co-chairs Kim and Joe Otte of Hudson.
“We’re very happy to have the Elks,” Joe noted. “We’re hoping for just a little bit of snow and a great turnout.”
Kim added, “It would probably take a blizzard for us to postpone it.”
Each team needs to consist of 10 players with at least three females. Team registration fee is $300. Base sponsors’ names will be displayed on a billboard for a tax-deductible $100 donation. Additional funds will be raised with raffles during a post-tournament party at Marlborough’s Prospector East Saloon for which its owner Bob Kays is donating food.