Celebrating Success at Patrick’s PALS 27th Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament for FRAXA

Basketball 2

Patrick's PALS 27th Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament occurred Saturday June 3, 2023. It took place (for the first time) at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, inside the Dana Athletic Center. It's a wonderful venue, one that we are so appreciative that Bentley made available. Their hospitality helped make PALS 27 a memorable day!

2023 Patrick's PALS Champs
2023 Runner Up

Opening Ceremonies

Barbara Stevens, as in the legendary Bentley University Women's Basketball Coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was introduced as the newest Honorary PAL. Barbara not only kindly attended Patrick's PALS 27, she spoke to the audience and shared some insights on her coaching career at Bentley, which included 900 wins and a national championship spanning 34 years. Thank you to Barbara for attending, and for the honor we enjoyed by playing our 3-on-3 games on the court named in her honor!

David Miller, John Ullian and Michael Kline were honored as our 2023 PAL of the Year recipients. They have attended every tournament (PALS was established in 1997), sponsoring one and often more than one team. Their loyalty is beyond reproach, and their genuine desire to contribute to PALS success from year to year is something that will forever be appreciated! In the words of the late & great John Wooden: "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." Thank you to three very special PALS of the Year for their contribution to 27 perfect days!

Kevin Ludlam was the slam-dunk choice to receive the David Whitney Unsung PAL of the Year Award. Named in honor of Pamela Vershbow's brother (and Patrick's uncle), the award was first introduced in 2019 after David left us following a valiant battle with cancer. David would do anything for Patrick - and he did just that over the years, hosting massive yard sales at his Arlington property when we first started raising money for FRAXA, to helping in any way possible to make the tournament a success from year to year. Kevin is at PALS every year from dawn to dusk, doing anything and everything to make the day go off without a hitch, never asking what might need to be done and instead just doing it. We are so very grateful for his love and support!

Katie Clapp, the fearless leader of FRAXA Research Foundation (along with her husband Michael Tranfaglia) gave a brief yet powerful state of the union address, including the potential impact of a drug trial ongoing as of this email. The end-result of this trial? Perhaps the very first drug to go to market (a year or two from now if all goes right) to help combat the cognitive shortcomings that results from having Fragile X Syndrome. While not the ultimate goal (that being a cure) this is potentially a significant development- stay tuned!

Peter Gould is a legend in PALS circles, and that legend just keeps growing. In the early days he played - basketball, that is - at PALS, and some years he recruited anywhere from three to six teams for the event. Peter has played the trumpet forever, and has played the National Anthem for PALS multiple times, and at every venue, so it only made sense that he'd be the first 'to play Bentley' - and he nailed it. Thank you, Peter, once again!

Kevin Paul Dupont joined PALS in person for the first time in 2023, but has been with us for years ever since he wrote a column about our event years ago. We were honored by the presence of the legendary Boston Globe Sports Columnist, who has been with the paper since 1985. Kevin is an award-winning writer who has made hockey his personal stomping ground, but is blessed with the versatility to cover any sport, the perspective to cover it all with humility and humor, and the ability to write in a manner that makes you want to run to read his work. Many thanks to Kevin!

Barbara Stevens
David Miller, John Ullian & Michael Kline
Kevin Ludlam & Jim Vershbow
Katie Clapp & Jim Vershbow

The 3-on-3 Tournament

Once again we were fortunate to have so many wonderful and supportive people on hand. Returning teams made up over 50% of the 32 teams in attendance, a remarkable number. Thank you to every team for carving out the time to participate! A team sponsored by Jeff Hecht (2022 PAL of the Year Honoree) beat the Andrew Goldstein team in the finals to take home the 2023 crown. The Hecht team included Ethan Wright, Jarred Houston and Nate Martin. The Goldstein team has won the tournament twice, including 2022, and came oh so close to defending/repeating! Congratulations to Andrew and his team of Mark Karmiy, Glenn Forstner and Alex Kiritsy.

We were donated a number of fine items for the silent auction, with bidding fierce; thanks to everyone involved with the auction on the way to raising $5,000.

Thank you again to Bentley for donating the use of the gym and in particular to Felicia Korte, Courtney Finn and Athletic Director Vaughn Williams for their support, to Three Twins of Watertown for donating the entirety of what it costs to produce the PALS t-shirt, to D'Agostino's Deli of Arlington for the great lunch and for donating the water for the entire day's consumption, to PALS (in this case PALS covers everyone who chipped in in some way to make the day come together - a list too long for this space), and finally, to the PALS Board (Jon Pressman, Bill Rome, Steve Savarese, Jim Marks, Scott Katz, Andrew Pressman, Peter Savarese, Daniel Marks and Steven Rome) for your commitment to this cause!

Patrick's PALS Board of Trustees

Looking Ahead

We are proud to have raised over $150,000 in 2023. Thanks to all of you who have supported our efforts- past, present and future!

Patrick's PALS 28th Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and Fundraiser is scheduled for June 1, 2024 at The TRACK at New Balance in Brighton.

Thank you again for your support!

Written by

James and Pamela began raising awareness and funds for FRAXA Research Foundation very early on in their “Fragile X experience.” Their son Patrick was diagnosed in 1993 at 11 months of age. Since becoming aware of FRAXA in 1995, fundraising has been a non-stop effort. First, it was huge yard sales, then banquets and auctions. Since 1997, Patrick’s PALS 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament occurs annually on the first Saturday after Memorial Day. They are proud to have raised well over 1.5 million dollars!

(617) 599-2641