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Friday, May 23, 2014

Holman hosting baseball tourney to benefit Gerry Gadbois

From the moment he heard the news of debilitating health and financial struggles longtime baseball umpire Gerry Gadbois is facing, Rich Loftus’ mind was working overtime to figure out a way to help.

“Without the officials the games don’t happen,” Loftus said. “For baseball families in the area, who have kids or family members playing, Gerry has done one of your games. He’s a big part of the local baseball community.” ...

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From the moment he heard the news of debilitating health and financial struggles longtime baseball umpire Gerry Gadbois is facing, Rich Loftus’ mind was working overtime to figure out a way to help.

“Without the officials the games don’t happen,” Loftus said. “For baseball families in the area, who have kids or family members playing, Gerry has done one of your games. He’s a big part of the local baseball community.”

Gadbois – a Nashua native who umpires and assigns umpires for Babe Ruth, AAU, high school and college – suffered a ruptured cyst on his spine. The medical situation has kept him from returning home as he’s been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for the last 60 days.

Loftus’ thoughts turned into action. The director of the Nashua Baseball Academy and manager of the New Hampshire Knights AAU baseball club remembered a fundraiser his program did a couple years ago for a sick player.

“We have Holman Stadium every Memorial Day weekend,” Loftus said. “Two years ago we used it as a fundraiser for one of our athletes with Leukemia. It’s a good vehicle to use this as a way to help people in need.”

That’s exactly his plan for this holiday weekend.

The Knights are hosting a six-team event Saturday and Sunday at Holman Stadium, which includes 13- and 14-year-old teams from southern New Hampshire.

On Saturday, the Knights’ 13-year-old squad will play a doubleheader against the Granite Heat of Manchester’s Youngsville Junior League at 10 a.m. and noon. That’s followed by a doubleheader at 2 and 4 between the Knights 14-year-old team and the New England Ravens out of Rindge.

Sunday’s schedule has the Knights 13s facing Team New England out of Salem at 9 and 11 a.m., while the Knights 14s have a 1 and 3 p.m. twin bill with the Granite State Marauders based out of Manchester.

There is no fee at the gate, but cash or check donations to help Gadbois will be accepted all weekend with checks being made out to Gerry Gadbois. Checks can also be mailed to 4 Dartmouth St., Nashua, NH, 03064.

Other fundraising occurring at the event includes raffles and silent auctions on sports memorabilia, which includes an autographed Dustin Pedroia baseball, a piece of TD Garden glass autographed by Tuukka Rask donated by the Garden, a maple wooden bat donated by M&N sports and a custom made baseball clock courtesy of Hudson Trophy Co., which is also donating eight trophies that will be presented as the Gerry Gadbois Award for players upholding the integrity of the game over the weekend.

“It’s a holiday weekend and this gives the community some good baseball to watch,” Loftus said, “but more importantly an opportunity to help a Nashua person in serious need.”