EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 18, 2013

Squashbusters event for Lawrence kids raises $250K

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — The first-ever SquashBusters “MashUp,” a tournament held at Brooks School this past snowy Sunday, was a huge success.

The MashUp, a squash competition and party to raise awareness of and support for SquashBusters Lawrence, drew a crowd of more than 100 people despite the bad weather.

It helped raise $250,000, far surpassing an original goal of $100,000.

The squash competition featured four teams composed of Merrimack Valley community members, Phillips Academy and Brooks students, SquashBusters students, and current or former professional squash players. In the end the “Andover Academics” won the 2013 Mash Cup. Ed Krapels, the “Andover Academics” captain, led the team which also featured John Palfrey (Phillips Academy’s Head of School), as well as other members of the Andover community.

The “Andover Academics” also won this year’s Golden Mill Award, which is given to the team that raises the most funding.

In all there were more than 300 donors.

Proceeds will go toward the Lawrence-based after-school youth development program that combines the sport of squash with academics and community service. This funding will help sustain the Lawrence site and will allow the program to grow and accept a new class of sixth grade students every fall from its two partner middle schools, the Emily G. Wetherbee School and Arlington Middle School.

It will also ensure that the program will be able to continue working with students from the time they join the program in sixth grade all the way through college graduation.

This long-term approach, which focuses on building meaningful relationships with students, is key to the SquashBusters model.

“We have to give a lot of credit to our two site partners, Brooks School and Phillips Academy,” said Dora Lubin, the Lawrence Squashbusters director. “It will help with our classroom work, getting access to squash courts, and provide the program with more volunteer support throughout the academic year.”