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Independent Thoughts: Freedom Team hosts ‘Difficult Conversations’; Tom McIntyre Turkey Bowl seeks teams

by | Oct 26, 2023 | Featured, Featured: Features

The Hopkinton Freedom Team Collaborative Group is hosting an event titled “How to Have Difficult Conversations” on Monday, Nov. 6, at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. The event is led by jamele adams, who is the original Freedom Team founder and the originator of the love, inclusion and trust (LIT) model to community connection.

Organizers are hoping for a big turnout in order to “spread more LIT in Hopkinton and beyond by creating spaces for more dialogue that builds connection and transcends the silos that can divide our complex and beautiful community,” explained Freedom Team board member Elizabeth Farry.

The event, which includes refreshments, is free, although space is limited. Those interested can get more information and reserve a spot at the Freedom Team website (hopkintonfreedomteam.org).

The Freedom Team recently voiced support for adams (who styles his name with lowercase first letters) after he was believed to be the target of an incident in Scituate, where he works as the school district’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

In July, Scituate’s superintendent shared photos taken from Museum Beach that appeared to show a grave in the sand and a makeshift headstone with an apparent reference to adams, according to a report in The Boston Globe.

Rather than respond with anger, adams told the Globe that he “locked in on love.”

“We know what it looks like when we feed negativity, when we feed the mentality of war kind of thing. We know how that works,” adams said. “We also understand the sustainability of love and the power of love. … It’s different and infectious.”

The Hopkinton Freedom Team released a statement shortly after the incident thanking adams for his work and crediting him for his response.

“We stand by him now as he has stood by our organization and community in the past,” the statement read, adding, “His words and actions inspire and lend strength to the mission and core values of why we serve our community in Hopkinton. Not surprisingly, jamele has held strong to his own mission with grace, forgiveness and love in his heart to turn this experience into a productive opportunity to continue to spread LIT and unity to his own community where this incident occurred. It is our hope that jamele’s message is recognized and received by all. Thank you jamele for all that you do, have done, and will continue to do to make the world a better place.”

Tom McIntyre Turkey Bowl

Team members of Hillers Thrillers pose for a photo after winning the Tom McIntyre Turkey Bowl last November.

Tom McIntyre Turkey Bowl seeks teams

The Tom McIntyre Turkey Bowl is looking to add some sides.

The 6-vs.-6, one-handed touch football tournament, held annually since 2002 on the turf fields below the HHS football field, has seen its numbers dip a bit since resuming after the pandemic, so organizers are putting out the call for more participants. It’s open to Hopkinton High School alumni as well as residents.

“We have players who graduated in 1977 all the way up to 2018, so it’s a big span,” said organizer Don Lehman, who played in the first few tournaments. “And it can be a neighborhood thing, a group of guys in the neighborhood; they don’t have to have graduated from Hopkinton High School or even played football.”

The event, a fundraiser for the Hopkinton Athletic Boosters, was started by Aubrey Doyle, who still makes an occasional appearance on the field, and Tom McIntyre, who died in 2017, after which time the tournament was dedicated to him. They coordinated with Denise Stickney, then president of the Hopkinton Boosters, to get the tournament running.

Scheduled this year for the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the tournament guarantees five 25-minute games per team, followed by single-elimination playoffs for the top teams.

Lehman is especially keen on connecting with recent graduates (2019 and later) and getting them to form teams.

“It’s a fundraiser for the boosters, a great day in the community,” Lehman said. “Families come and watch, and after the games, everyone goes to Cornell’s and we have a trophy presentation there.”

The winning team gets to keep the engraved trophy for the year. Young Gunnaz had the longest streak of success with seven titles in nine years, while Hillers Thrillers have won the last three tourneys.

“Every year it’s very competitive,” Lehman said. “And while we’ve had some bumps and bruises, for the most part we’ve been very fortunate to avoid any major injuries. Although, everyone’s pretty sore the day after.”

For more information or to register a team, email Lehman at donaldelehman@aol.com.

Misc.: HCA needs ‘Wicked’ volunteers

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts is seeking volunteers — teenagers and adults — for its annual Wicked Weekend (which we wrote about in our last issue). Events from Oct. 27-29 include the Monster Mash, a 5K road race/Wee Wicked Run, wicked pickleball and “The Haunt” at the MetroWest YMCA in Hopkinton. Visit hopartscenter.org for more information.

If you are unavailable this weekend but have an interest in helping out at the HCA, the organization uses volunteers throughout the year.

“Whether you have a little time or a lot of time, there’s something for everyone to enjoy as a volunteer,” stated HCA Executive Director Kelly Grill. …

Best of luck to Linda Connelly, who retired during the summer as a senior assistant at the Hopkinton Public Library.

“We were all sad to see her leave the HPL after more than 20 years of service, but [we] wish her much enjoyment as she spends time with her family and friends in the great outdoors,” shared Library Director Nancy Milone.

Ray Stephenson was named to replace Connelly. …

Congratulations to Hopkinton High School student Ashwath Sridhar, who recently received the Youth Steward Award from the Sudbury Valley Trustees for leading an effort to build a boardwalk at SVT’s Whitehall Woods property in Hopkinton. …

In our last issue we ran a photo of the Hopkinton High School Class of 1968 reunion. Peter Marso was accidentally left off the list of attendees. Apologies for the omission.

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