Kenny Krom and Debbie Connors never met, yet fate 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.
Nelson Mandela said “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does”.
Those who have ever taken to the field or the court or the schoolyard to play against others understand. A game played hard and clean with a handshake at the end is a metaphor for life lived well. When that game is played for the purpose of helping others, there are only winners.
Welcome to sportingAcause. Our modest mission is three-fold: first, to promote sports-related fundraisers. They range from golf to wiffleball to softball tournaments, and from triathlons to walkathons. If it’s a sport and it’s raising money for a cause, it’s in. We’ll even include polar plunges- not a sport really, but if folks are willing to jump into winter water for charity, they’re in too.
The second part of our mission is to promote the causes for which those games raise money. They include programs for children at risk, scholarships to deserving teens, research to find cures for diseases, and many, many more. In their aggregate, these sporting events- hundreds of them- with their accompanying fundraising, elevate the quality of life in our tri-state area beyond measure. You will see that here.
The third part of our mission at sportingAcause is to shed light on all of the local businesses who support all of the fundraising efforts all year long. There is a formula in the fundraising world- if businesses sponsor or underwrite your costs, then the rest- entry fees, etc., is profit. Here is the bottom line- without business support, there are no fundraisers. We will do our best to give those businesses the recognition they deserve.
And we can use your help. If you know of an event not listed on our calendars, please let us know- we will include it. If you have a story or a picture or a video reflective of our mission, please send it to us.
The events you see on this website today are only the beginning. New events will be arriving daily, and when school begins in September, many more will be added. The total will ever increase.
Please wander around this site, and let us know what you like about it and what could make it better, because this is your site too.