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Doug Turner Benefit event on Saturday

BUCKLAND — Saturday marks the 10th annual Doug Turner Benefit for Mohawk Athletics, a family day of special activities to raise scholarship funds for Mohawk Trail Regional School students and to support the Mohawk Athletic Association.

In 2003, Doug Turner died at age 43, and his family and friends created this fundraiser to both celebrate Turner’s life and to help the school in which Turner had been an athlete, school parent and booster of athletic programs. Turner was also an organ donor, and the resulting transplants meant new life for others.

“Thanks to the strong community support we have already received throughout the years, we have raised about $175,000, said Beth Martin, one of the organizers. About 90 percent of these funds benefit Mohawk athletics directly, through the MAA. The rest goes to the Doug Turner and the E.W. Martin memorial scholarship funds.

Special activities begin at
8 a.m., with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. At 9:30 a.m., concessions open and a Whiffle ball tournament begins.

A kick-off memorial lap and opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. at the Mohawk track.

Throughout the day, there will be music by the Tea Street Band. Other activities include raffle tables, a bake sale, pie-eating contest, and a silent auction that includes an autographed baseball by Red Sox player Mike Aviles.

The Yankee Motor Club will display its vintage cars, and the Nine-Town Kickball Tournament returns, where the Shelburne Falls police will be defending their championship title.

Larry Bruffee’s famous chicken barbecue takes place from noon to 2 p.m.

Also at noon, there will be a monarch butterfly release. Participants purchase the butterflies in memory or in honor of loved ones, as symbols of hope, renewal and transformation.

This year’s annual raffle has a first-place price of an Apple iPad or $500 cash. Second prize is a Nook or Kindle Fire tablet, or $200 cash. Tickets are $5 each, or a book of five for $20.

Also, Life Choice Donor Services, which assisted Turner’s family regarding organ donorship, will have an information table set up.

Children’s events throughout the day will include a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy house, pumpkin decorating, and a fidget ladder.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or (413) 772-0261, ext. 277

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