Charity dodgeball tournament draws a crowd

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Members of Team in Yo Face, which was comprised of players from the Naugatuck High School girls basketball team, compete in Naugatuck Fire Department Union 1219’s third annual charity dodgeball tournament Saturday at Naugatuck High. –KEN MORSE
Members of Team in Yo Face, which was comprised of players from the Naugatuck High School girls basketball team, compete in Naugatuck Fire Department Union 1219’s third annual charity dodgeball tournament Saturday at Naugatuck High. –KEN MORSE

NAUGATUCK — The third annual charity dodgeball tournament sponsored by the Naugatuck Fire Department Union 1219 was everything that it was set out to be — a huge success.

Droves of borough residents descended on the Naugatuck High School gymnasium on Saturday for the tournament, which in part benefited the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Scholarship Fund. Hochsprung, a Naugatuck native, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and killed in the December shooting.

Local 1219 President Todd Gallino, who organized the event, expressed his gratitude to everyone who came out to support the event.

“This is our third annual charity event,” Gallino said. “We have supported Little Pal, Little League, Babe Ruth and the high school athletic teams in the past. This year we wanted to do something special and worthwhile so we decided on the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

Gallino said $1,600 was raised for the fund and an additional $2,500 for the union.

The charitable spirit was infectious during the tournament.

Tom McKirryher won the 50/50 raffle, which was up to $1,000, and donated his share of winnings to the fund. His son, Jeff McKirryher, turned in the ticket on his father’s behalf.

“My dad left his ticket with me and said if he won give the money back to the fund,” said Jeff, who was accompanied by his wife, Christina and son, Jack.

As for the action on the court, Bob Allen’s team, Aim for the fat guy, won the tournament beating out 19 other contenders for the title and Ken Stone’s team, Balls Deep, in the championship match.

The union is planning on sponsoring another dodgeball tournament in the fall and will announce those plans once all the details are worked out.