‘Love Thy Neighbor . . .’

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Photo by Lester Smith

Rick Deenihan, left, chats with a friend as they watch a Little League warm-up during the big party held to help him and his family.

There are a lot of folks in town who follow that great commandment, and many of them came to Christian Field on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon near the end of May to help a troubled Suffield family.

Rick and Jamie Deenihan’s friends Corinne Walters, Christine Beluzo, and Lisa Hayward got together and held a big party at Christian Field, out on Hale Street, in the merry midst of enthusiastic Little League activity. So there was plenty to watch as well as an abundance of food and soda, and three big bounce houses, plus one easily triggered dunking seat. And of course, raffle prizes. The food that wasn’t prepared at home by an army of generous cooks came from a very busy mobile pizza oven, supplemented by the hamburg and hot dog chefs at the grill in Chet’s Place, the Christian Field snack shack named to honor Chet McComb.

Other volunteers sold raffle tickets, Deenihan T-shirts, and “Deenihan Strong” rubber bracelets (everything grey – the motif color for brain tumor).

The word had spread, and over 500 people came to talk and eat and enjoy the music and watch some games. Kids came to watch and play in the games, but also to bounce and just run around. It was a very pleasant evening, though underlying all was Rick’s unfortunate affliction. Fortunately between therapy sessions, Rick was able to attend and circulate among friends, even throw some first pitches.

About $17,000 was raised to help Rick and Jamie with the major financial burden they face.

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