A year ago, I wrote the following blog after attending a fundraiser basketball game at Mt. Everett High School. The game, however, was not the real story here. I hope you’ll find it worthwhile.
Kenny Krom and Debbie Connors never met, yet their fates brought them together in the most profound way.
A little over a year ago, 19 year old Kenny Krom, a graduate of Mt. Everett High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, was killed in a one-car crash. He would have started college last fall to pursue a nursing degree. Kenny was a basketball player, well known and well loved, and the community mourned his loss.
But there was a silver lining in this tragedy – Kenny Krom was an organ donor.
Debbie Connors, age 50, from Palmer Massachusetts, had spent the last three years on the organ donor waiting list to receive a new kidney. She suffered from polycystic kidney disease which had taken her father, three aunts and two cousins.
For those same three years, Debbie had been surviving on three-day-a-week dialysis, but she was weakening – she desperately needed a new kidney. And then, on Good Friday , 2017, Kenny gave Debbie one of his.
Others benefited as well- 15 people’s lives have been saved or enhanced by Kenny’s gifts so far. Over 67 remaining units of Kenny’s bone marrow can help many more over the next few years.
But the goodness didn’t stop there. Kenny’s mother Sue Krom started a scholarship in his memory, and this past Saturday, an alumni basketball game was held at Mt Everett to help raise money for it- $5 a head at the door.
There were hot dogs and baked goods and T shirts for sale. Proceeds from those went to the school’s booster club to help the sports programs. And the non-profit Donate Life offered information about becoming an organ donor.
What a rich tally of benefit from Kenny’s life- 15 lives saved or enhanced with more to come and three non-profits supported. I trust we’ll be seeing future sports-related fundraisers bearing Kenny’s name in sportingAcause.
Oh, and sitting in the front row watching the game with Kenny’s mom and grandmother was a healthy, smiling Debbie Connors.
April 2019 Update:
Since this blog, a total of 40 people have now been helped or saved thanks to Kenny Krom.
On Saturday, May 18th, the 2nd Annual Alumni Basketball Game will be held at the Mt Everett High School gym to support the Kenny Krom Scholarship Fund, Mt Everett Booster Club and Donate Life. Details here at sportingAcause.com.
Looking for something fun to do on a May Saturday? Then consider this exciting event coming May 11th to a theater near you – the Tri-State Amazing Race.
This is a new event organized by Erin Fowler and inspired by the popular television show Amazing Race. The goal is to raise money to fight substance abuse in our area.
Here’s how it works- two-person teams with a car all gather at the Colonial Theater (that’s the “at a theater near you” part) in Canaan, CT. Each team is given a clue to guide them to the first destination where they are given a task to perform and a clue to the next destination.
After many destinations the winning team will receive $1,000! But sign up quickly because registration closes April 20th.
For more information click here: http://sportingacause.com/event/tri-state-amazing-race/
But the Amazing Race is not the only event coming up. The sports-related fundraising season is really heating up! Over the next 30 days you’ll have the opportunity to watch or take part in a motorcycle rally to Lime Rock Park, a basketball game, Kentucky Derby party, softball tournament, a lumberjack – style olympics and over 24 running or walking events! Plus the golf tournament season has started.
Find them all here at sportingAcause.com.
Til next time.
Calendars. They enhance our lives or rule them, depending. Either way calendars help us avoid personal chaos by giving order to our upcoming lives.
SportingAcause.com has calendars to alert readers about their favorite sports-related fundraisers or to inform them of events they were not aware of.
But there is another purpose calendars can serve that I have hoped folks would embrace – to use sportingAcause calendars to plan events.
Here’s an example. This year organizers changed the date of their event to April 27th. Had they checked the sportingAcause calendar, they would have seen four other run/walk events like theirs already scheduled for that day.
On another date, May 4th, there were six scheduled events. Now there are seven after an event changed last year’s date. A quick review of scheduled events would have shown an already saturated date. Of course, because some of the events are strewn about the Tri-State sportingAcause area, not all of them compete with one another for participants, but some do.
And I know there are many factors that go into choosing an event date- facility and volunteer availability, seasonal considerations, etc. And there are only so many weekends to choose from which makes it all the more important to choose the most sparsely populated day for your event.
Let’s face it. there are many, many non profits out there offering many, many fundraisers seeking to tap into a finite participant and donor pool. It only makes sense to spread those events out as much as possible to have the best shot at success.
Til next time
The Spring Splash this Sunday at the Grove at Lakeville Lake marks the final “cold water” fundraiser of the season on the sportingAcause calendar.
Zany folks jump into frigid waters all over the world for many reasons- rites of passage, ushering in spring, health benefits, celebrations and more. But it is a peculiarly American notion to discomfort oneself for charity.
And two very worthy ones will benefit from the Spring Splash. The popular Jane Lloyd Fund, which provides living expenses to cancer-stricken folks living in CT’s Region One, will split the proceeds with the lesser-known HVRHS FFA Alumni John Rice Scholarship Fund. Both do great work in the Northwest Corner.
A sidebar story to the Spring Splash is the number of young people who participate. Buses from Berkshire, Salisbury and Hotchkiss Schools arrive to join ranks with HVRHS students as well as grade-schoolers. Of the 150 people who typically take part in the Splash, half are high school age.
They have learned the value of giving back to their communities, and their enthusiasm and energy as they take the plunge is a joy to watch.
By the way, you don’t have to get wet to support the causes. Although the cost to Splash is $25, you can just show up and watch and make a donation of any size. The entertainment will be worth it!
Til next time