By Ruthie Laroche
ENOSBURG FALLS — A day with a forecast for rain turned out to be a beauty, allowing folks to gather to celebrate the second annual Kickin’ it for Colby Jamboree at the high school soccer field in Enosburg.
This year, 19 teams took the field throughout the day to play in honor of Colby Pattee and raise money for Team Brady and Hunt of a Lifetime.
“It was a good day!” said Renee Pattee, Colby’s mom and organizer of the event.
For Pattee, who invests many hours preparing for the soccer jamboree, the day of the event is a time to take in the laughter and fun.
“I try to stay off the fields. The tournament is our day to relax,” said Pattee. “I go out with our dog Sparky to mingle, to talk. It’s just nice to look out and see the kids enjoying themselves.”
Seeing kids from area high schools on the fields playing together is a source of contentment for Pattee.
“Kids from Enosburg, BFA St. Albans, Richford, and MVU were playing together; they came to celebrate Colby’s life and to support Brady,” said Pattee. “This isn’t about competition, it’s about getting out, playing a game, and having fun. It’s about the kids.”
Fifteen of the teams registered for the jamboree fell in the 13 to 18 category, while the remaining four others filled out the younger bracket.
Many of the high school athletes at the event will begin their JV and varsity pre-season workouts this week, and the jamboree gives them a chance to get some early field time.
Others came strictly to enjoy the game and support the causes represented. Pattee noted that there were many kids present who knew Colby and who are friends with Brady Adams.
Fifteen-year old Brady, of Team Brady, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia this year and is currently undergoing treatments in Burlington.
Pattee pointed out that families who are faced with the need to care for a loved one with a serious illness incur many costs that insurance policies don’t cover. Gas needed for daily trips to Burlington, hotel stays, and time missed at work all add up.
As the second Kickin’ it for Colby came to a close and the dust settled from a day of soccer, spike ball, corn hole, plenty of food and lots of camaraderie, Pattee was already looking to next year. “We’d like to focus the fundraising on helping local families that are going through tough times with illnesses.”
This year the jamboree raised $8,900 for Hunt of a Lifetime and for Team Brady.
That total brings them over what they raised last year, and Pattee couldn’t be more grateful to all who gave.
“We’ve learned personally, and I’ve said this a million times — we might not always see eye to eye with everyone in our community, but when there’s a tragedy everyone comes together,” said Pattee candidly.
Support from local businesses played a big part in the fundraising, and Pattee extended her thanks to them all.
She also expressed her gratitude to those who came out and gave of their time to volunteer at the event, including Enosburg Athletic Director Chris Brigham.
“I want to give a huge shout out to Chris. He helped with the fields, with the teams, and he stayed and hung out with us in the rain,” said Pattee with a smile.
Twenty family members and close friends also gave their Saturday to help keep Colby’s memory alive and to provide a day of ‘just for fun’ soccer for local young people.
“I want to thank everyone who helped. I do all the legwork until the day of, and then everyone comes in and takes my spot for the day,” Pattee said.
Saturday’s rain held off until the very last portion of the event. As the skies opened, people scurried to the tent for cover. On the field, the soccer players kept right on playing, enjoying the opportunity to play the game they love in a community that comes together to support and remember.
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