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  • Jay O'Halloran
  • Jay O'Halloran
Friday, April 27, 2012

‘Walk 4 Jay’ on Sunday will raise money for scholarship

HUDSON – Whether he was out among the oceans and mountains of New England’s great outdoors or inside an oblong building skating or teaching his beloved sport of ice hockey, Jay O’Halloran created a perfect blend of helping others while also enjoying himself immensely.

Six and a half years ago, when the cancer the Hudson man and Alvirne High graduate had as a child returned and claimed his life, his family and friends had plenty of inspiration to draw upon. They directed it into building the Jay O’Halloran Memorial & Scholarship Fund, which began in 2008, keeps alive memories of him and his love of hockey. Each year, the fund awards scholarships to two Alvirne graduates

On Sunday, “Walk 4 Jay,” a 3K/5K walk–run and one of several events that benefits the fund, will be reprised for the sixth time across the street from O’Halloran’s alma mater.

Starting at 11 a.m., runners and walkers will traverse the course of their choice, beginning at the historic Hills House and winding through wooded areas, paths and roads in the vicinity.

Mail registrations have been coming in, Barbara O’Halloran, Jay’s mother, said, but previous years have shown many participants wait until race day and register at the event.

Gerard “Jay” O’Halloran died three days before Christmas in 2005, marking the end of his second bout with disease.

“He was only 40 when we lost him,” Barbara O’Halloran said. “He had cancer as a child, but after radiation and chemotherapy he was told he was fine.”

And he was – until the dreaded disease reared its ugly head in the form of leukemia more than 30 years later. Planning and holding the walks each year help keep her son’s memory alive, O’Halloran said, and the scholarship is a way to give back to the town and to the school from which her three sons graduated.

“The town has given us a lot over the years,” she said of Hudson, where the family moved in 1980.

With a lifelong passion for ice hockey, Jay O’Halloran played as a youth and in adult leagues for many years, and also coached in the Nashua Panthers Youth Hockey organization.

O’Halloran was vice president of Rapid Finishing Corp. in Nashua at the time of his death. He was also known as a “Parrothead” – a devotee of singer Jimmy Buffet.

To date, the scholarship in his name has benefited eight Alvirne graduates. The first year’s recipients received $2,000 each, while subsequent winners received $2,500 each. They include Jenna Keller and Max Mahoney, 2008; Jennifer Hall and Cory Brennick, 2009; Emily LaPlant and Robert LeBourdais, 2010; and Benjamin Dutil and Alexander Scafidi, 2011.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.