Cancer patients and their families in central Maine will be the winners when the eighth annual Central Maine Field Hockey Battle for Breast Cancer Tournament takes place July 21 at Thomas College in Waterville.
Nine high school teams and a handful of middle school teams will participate in the event, which supports the Martha B Webber Breast Cancer Care Center, a program of the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.
Last year, more than $35,000 was raised to help for patients and their families defray the cost of treatment, child care, transportation expenses and wellness support.
Paula Doughty, the field hockey coach at Skowhegan High School and member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, chairs the Battle for Breast Cancer Committee and is the “brains behind the whole operation,” Winslow High School coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said.
“The hours she puts in is quite remarkable,” Bourgoin said. “One hundred percent of the money raised goes to people in need and that’s what makes it so special.”
Bourgoin pointed out that it started with four teams eight years ago, and it has “grown exponentially since then.”
There is also an educational component to the event for the players and their families. Players can attend a seminar to inform them about breast cancer and their own breast care needs. There also will be booths to supply information.
The players are also introduced to the values of community service.
Bourgoin said cancer patients and families who benefited from the money raised addressed the players at last year’s festival.
Doughty wrote in a letter promoting the event that organizers have received several letters from grateful people they have helped.
The teams participating include Skowhegan, Winslow, Mt. Blue of Farmington, Lawrence of Fairfield, Dexter, Messalonskee of Oakland, Winthrop, Nokomis of Newport and Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield.
Bourgoin said teams will play 25-minute games, and each team will play four or five games.
The cost for spectators is $5 for adults and $2 for students. There will be numerous concession stands.
All donations are tax deductible and will be recorded and forwarded to the Franklin Community Health Network. Donations by check and cash can be sent to event treasurer Kathy McConnell, 603 Jackson Pond Road, Concord Twp., ME 04928. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s going to be a great day,” Bourgoin said.
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