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Eighteen NH school teams to battle one foe: cancer

August 22. 2014 8:35PM
Organizers Christine Telge, from left, Christine Freitas and Rebecca Libby show off a quilt on Aug. 20 to be raffled at the Playing for a Purpose Field Hockey Jamboree on Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Manchester Memorial High School. The annual event benefits the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

CANCER comes in many forms and types, and early awareness is always a huge advantage to beat it.

In Manchester. through the efforts of Christine Freitas, her family, former Manchester Memorial High field hockey coach Rebecca Libby and Christine Pariseau-Telge of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the annual Playing for a Purpose Field Hockey Jamboree continues to raise awareness and money to combat cancer.

The fourth annual jamboree will be held Saturday, Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memorial’s Chabot/McDonough Field. Eighteen schools across the Granite State will be wearing different colors representing a certain type of cancer.

Participating in the jamboree are Berlin (lung cancer, white jersey), Bishop Brady of Concord (leukemia/kidney, orange), Bow (lymphoma, lime green), ConVal of Peterborough (bone cancer, yellow), Hollis/Brookline (breast cancer, pink), John Stark Regional of Weare (prostate cancer, light blue), Kearsarge Regional of North Sutton (multiple myeloma, burgundy), Lebanon (colon cancer, dark blue), Mascenic of New Ipswich (childhood cancer, gold), Memorial (melanoma, black), Milford (brain cancer, gray), Nashua North (carcinoid cancer, zebra stripe),

Nashua South (cervical cancer, teal/white), Pelham (uterine cancer, peach), Pinkerton Academy of Derry (pancreatic cancer, purple), Souhegan of Amherst (thyroid cancer, teal/pink/blue), White Mountains of Whitefield, (liver cancer, emerald green) and Windham (head/neck cancer, burgundy/ivory).

Every school participating in the jamboree has a story about someone in their community who has beaten, is battling or, sadly, has died of cancer.

Freitas is a cancer survivor. In June of 2010, she underwent successful thoracic surgery to remove a tumor.

Two months after her surgery, Christine’s twin daughters, Jenna and Kelly, who were field hockey players at the time at Manchester Memorial, worked countless hours organizing the “Playing for a Purpose” field hockey jamboree to educate the public about different types of cancer.

The first annual jamboree took place in August of 2011, the same month Frietas learned that doctors discovered another tumor in her brain.

She attended the jamboree and, two days later, had successful surgery to remove her tumor. In the spring of 2013 she had a second brain surgery to remove scar tissue and has been cancer free since that time.

“I was diagnosed with stage four melanoma cancer and this being the fourth jamboree, Memorial will be wearing black again to raise awareness for melanoma,” said Freitas, whose twin daughters now play field hockey for UMass Lowell.

“I’m so happy to announce that we’ve raised over $15,000 in three years and we’re going to add to that total again this season,” said Freitas. “We had 11 teams participate in the jamboree our first year and 18 is the highest total we’ve ever had to this point. It’s just wonderful.”

On Tuesday at Milly’s Tavern, 500 North Commercial St. in Manchester, a fund-raiser from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. will be held in conjunction with the jamboree.

“We’re having a silent auction that night and proceeds will go to our cause,” said Freitas. “For the fourth straight year we’re also selling raffle tickets for a quilt my mother-in-law (Mary Freitas) sewed. We call it the “Quilt of Hope” and the actual drawing for the quilt will be during one of Memorial’s home games this season. I urge the public to come to our fund-raiser and jamboree and support our cause. I thank all the teams coming and all the people behind the scenes who have made this jamboree a success in our fight to beat cancer.”

PARISEAU-TELGE is staging the sixth annual Friends Fighting Cancer 5K race through the historic Millyard. The race is set for Sunday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. and proceeds will be donated to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

“Last year we had over 450 runners raising almost $30,000,” said Pariseau-Telge. “All funds go to support local cancer patients at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, specifically research and patient services. The course is flat and fast, but most importantly, easy for all fitness levels. We have competitive runners and patients that all enjoy the course. It runs along the Merrimack River, utilizing the Riverwalk from Arms Park to Rivers Edge and back.”

A mother of two children, Pariseau-Telge said the race has something for all ages.

“We have a kids area where children will be able to create flags for their family members and friends that have cancer,” she said. “We are running a free 400-meter race for kids at 11 o’clock with prizes.” Prizes will be awarded to top runners and teams.

Registration is still open at and the registration fee is $25.

CURRENTLY in his 41st year as the New Hampshire Boxing and Wrestling Commissioner, Bobby Stephen of Manchester is expected to be re-appointed for a 14th time in September by Gov. Maggie Hassan. She would be the 10th Granite State governor to appoint Stephen, dating back to 1973 when Meldrim Thomson Jr. was in office.

“Boxing has been my passion all my life ,” said Stephen. “Serving as the state commissioner has allowed me to keep the sport alive in New Hampshire.” Stephen said boxing returns to the Queen City on Thursday, Sept. 18 when Verizon Wireless Arena hosts the 13th annual Fight to Educate Pro-Am tournament.

Over the years, the gala has already raised over $500,000 for various charities. This year, donations will be made to three more non-profit organizations: the SEE Science Center, the Bobby Stephen Fund for Education and New Horizons for New Hampshire. Four professional and two amateur bouts will be featured this year.

Headlining the card will be current New England middleweight champion Russell Lamour (9-0) of Portland, Maine, and welterweight stalwart Chris Gilbert (11-1) of Windsor, Vt. Other pros on the card are light welterweights Brandon Berry (6-0) of West Forks, Maine, Fred Mandrachia (0-2) of Boston and middleweight Mark Deluca (10-0) of Boston.

“We’re excited to announce that Jen Amato of Keene will be participating in a female amateur bout,” said Stephen. “She’ll be fighting in a 102-pound weight class.” Stephen said the full card will be announced in the coming weeks.

A black tie dinner at 5:30 p.m. is planned before the bouts begin. VIP tables of eight can be reserved for $1,000.

This fee also includes an auction conducted by Stephen Singer and Charlie Sherman and a meet-and-greet with boxing legends.

To reserve a VIP table, or for more information, call Singer at 669-4100.

“City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at

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