Wednesday, May 06, 2009

JJ Dushane Memorial Basketball Courts.

After many months of tireless hard work and fearless fundraising, the friends and family of JJ Dushane are proud to announce the dedication of the new and amazing JJ Dushane Memorial basketball courts. From their website...

The JJ Dushane Memorial fund was established to honor our son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend who tragically lost his life this past January. JJ was a beautiful and caring young man who touched the lives of many as attested by the more than 1,400 people who paid their last respects to him. He played and excelled in local sports as a youngster all the way through his varsity career at Easthampton High School. Although he excelled at soccer, baseball and football (his blocked punt which resulted in a touchdown sealed the win for Easthampton's first Super Bowl victory in 2005), his passion was basketball. He believed in mentoring younger players and young children. He always knew how to “Lighten Up” people, how to make them laugh and how to enjoy life no matter what the situation was.

The family and friends of JJ Dushane are trying to raise money to build a memorial in his name and to create an atmosphere where the community, especially the kids, can gather and play basketball. JJ spent a lot of his time playing basketball there and we know in our hearts he would want us to complete this project. We have the support of our City Officials, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Easthampton Basketball Association, Easthampton High School Athletics and of course our Family and Friends.

The ‘opening’ ceremony will happen this coming Sunday at 1:30, right at the site of the new courts. In case you haven't been following this touching tribute to JJ, the new courts can be found right at the entrance to Nonotuck Park right here in Easthampton.

Here are a few construction shots of the courts. The group was able to raise the over $72,000 needed to get the courts built. Fundraising came in all forms - from raffles to car washes to poker and golf tournaments to trivia nights. An impressive feat and just goes to show if you put your mind to something, there's nothing you can't accomplish, bad economy be darned.

Obviously, nothing can erase the unimaginable pain of losing a son, but I think his family can find a bit of solace in the heartfelt support they’ve received from Easthampton's fine folks. A great story, and I'm sure those courts will be enjoyed and appreciated by generations to come.

I hope you can stop by the new courts on Sunday at 1:30 to show your support and admiration to JJ’s family and friends. Rumor has it, they’ll be cake and (Mt. Tom’s) ice cream for all…

In case you’re out with Mom or otherwise booked on Sunday, I’ll try to get some shots of the new courts and post ‘em up next week.

Congrats to the JJ Dushane team for providing such a great gift to the city of Easthampton.

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