Staff Writer

Last year’s Battle for Breast Cancer field hockey tournament raised over $18,000. It also saved at least one life.

Proceeds from the tournament go to the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center in Farmington, to help patients who are uninsured or under-insured. The tournament is back this year, and the “Battle For Breast Cancer — Round 2” is at Colby College on Friday.

“Already this year, we’ve got several people tested who couldn’t afford it,” Doughty said. “One was diagnosed and treated using our funds. She is now cancer-free.”

The tournament is in round-robin format, with each of the five teams playing four 30-minute games. Skowhegan, Mt. Blue, Nokomis and Winslow are all back from last summer, and are joined by Lawrence for this year’s event.

“With the cause that it goes to, No. 1, it’s local. My girls were very interested in that,” Winslow coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “The whole cause itself, you knew you were playing for something bigger than just a game. You were saving lives.”

“My kids were so impressed that it was local,” Lawrence coach Lisa Larrabee said. “So far we’ve raised over $3,000. My kids did a walk last year for a local hospital in Pittsfield, where I work. It was such a great team-bonding thing.”

Games begin at 3:45 p.m., Friday, and go until 9:03. After the final game, there will be a closing ceremony in which bio-degradable balloons are released into the sky. Doughty remembers this ceremony as one of the highlights of last year’s event.

“After the balloons were released, the kids didn’t even leave the field,” Doughty said. “They all stood with their arms around each other for the longest time. It was a very moving event.”

Doughty said the community support has been outstanding again this year. Jim Wright — the man from the “No line is safe to touch, ever!” commercials — has a daughter on the team, and talked about the game one day. The next day, Doughty said, a representative from one of the companies Wright was working with gave him a check for $1,000.

“Time is a very valuable commodity in Maine,” Doughty said. “Summers are short. Most of the people working on this event are employed and they’re volunteering their time. It’s just blown me away how generous people are.”

Doughty added that Colby College has been helpful, and two volunteers, Elizabeth Richards and Lauri Blanchet, have done a tremendous amount of work with the event.

There is a possibility of rain on Friday, but Doughty said the games will be stopped only if there are thunderstorms.

“My kids said they’d rather play in showers than in 100 degrees like we did last year,” Doughty said. “Showers aren’t a big problem on turf.”

Admission for the day is $5 for adults and $2 for students. If you would like to donate but can’t attend the tournament, contact Lauri Blanchet at [email protected] or 858-6067.

“During the season, everything is so competitive,” Doughty said. “This is not competitive. This is to celebrate the joy of the sport, but also the joy of life — all of us going out there and having a good time, and working together for a great cause.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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