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Donations Sought for Inaugural Coach Bert Hammel Scholarship Fund

June 13, 2016

The annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence graduation party, which will take place this year on Friday, June 17, is an opportunity for staff members and the larger club community to celebrate the accomplishments of high school seniors, as well as alumni in college who are earning an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree.

This year, it is planned that the inaugural Coach Bert Hammel Scholarship will be among more than $70,000 in college scholarships distributed to youth members and alumni pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies at schools nationwide. The $1,000 annual award honors the former Merrimack College head men's basketball coach who tied for 37th place in Division II history for victories during his 35-year career.

Hammel's reputation is equally legendary within the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for developing underprivileged kids into leaders on and off the court. Since he founded the club's Academic Basketball Camp in partnership with Merrimack in 1981, thousands of boys and girls learned basketball skills while also benefiting from educational enrichment and guest speakers reinforcing the importance of hard work, good decision-making, and other life skills. More quietly, Hammel has long been a generous supporter of the club, as well as a direct donor to some of its most disadvantaged youth members. Through his example, many of the players he has coached over the years have also volunteered at club events.

Tim Samway, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Board of Advisors, has raised $12,000 to date toward the $25,000 goal which will enable the scholarship to be permanently endowed.

"Bert's passion for basketball is rivaled only by his dedication to helping the youth of Lawrence achieve their maximum potential, both as good and caring citizens as well as in whichever field they choose to pursue professionally," Samway said. "It is a privilege to initiate a scholarship fund honoring this great man who exemplifies leadership and compassion, and I urge his former players, fellow coaches, and friends far and wide to contribute."

Tax-deductible donations to the Coach Bert Hammel Scholarship Fund may be made payable to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, 136 Water St., Lawrence, MA 01841. For more information, contact Andrea Nahigian, director of development at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, at (978) 683-2747, ext. 118 or anahigian@lawrencebgc.com.

 

Did You Know?

The Lawrence Housing Authority credits the programs of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for significantly reducing juvenile deliquency in public housing.