METHUEN – A couple of hundred of Allison Hawkes’ closest friends showed up this past weekend to give her a boost as she faces another medical challenge.
“Allie,” as she is known to her family and friends, was the guest of honor at the Larry Klimas Memorial Field House at Methuen High, where 18 teams of 10 people participated in a matball tournament to raise money for a recovery fund for her.
Allie, 18, who has already fought three bouts of cancer, is facing another battle having recently been diagnosed with osteosarcoma - a bone cancer in her right tibia.
Christine Hawkes said her daughter will undergo surgery to replace the bone and that two weeks later she will start eight months of treatments.
Matball is similar to kickball where two teams try to score by kicking the ball and running the bases or large mats. The winner is the team with the most runs scored. Current students and Methuen High alumni made up the teams wearing black, yellow, white, blue, red and tie dyed T-shirts.
The game was organized by John Sughrue and John Stackelin, who both work for the Methuen School Department. Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions, SADD joined them in the fundraising effort. Jackie Rubino, SADD advisor said Sughrue, Stackelin and them have been planning the game for several weeks.
She was surprised at the number of people who attended the event.
“It shows how much this community loves Allie,” said Rubino, ninth grade English teacher at Methuen High. “She’s just a sweetheart and wonderful human being. We all hope this makes her life easier.”
“It’s good when the community comes together to help someone who needs it. When you’re down and out, events like these help lift you up,” Sughrue said.
In addition to her mother, her brother, Jonathan also went to the game.