By Jean DePlacido Correspondent
The Salem News
---- — Every year since his father, Roland, passed away from cystic fibrosis, 26-year-old Beverly resident Jonathan Currier has held a charity event in his honor.
This year, he came up with a unique idea to raise money by having a 24-hour basketball game at the Beverly YMCA Teen Center. The event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, and is set to conclude at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4.
If they can play the entire time, it would set a new mark in the Guiness Book of World Records.
“A while ago, there was a world-record flag football game held on the North Shore, and that gave me the idea,” said Currier, a professional basketball trainer who recently opened Jonathan Currier’s X Factor Basketball Training. He also referees games and is a paraprofessional at Beverly High School.
“This is our third annual event; so far, we’ve raised over $4,000 for cystic fibrosis research. This year, I wanted to give part of the money for YMCA summer camp scholarships, since I’ve been going to the Y since I was 6 years old and I still work there doing some reffing. Basketball has always been a big passion in my life, and this is a nice way to honor my father.”
Currier said there will be 24 players who take part in the game: 12 on each team, with five players from both sides on the court at all times. Some are hoopsters he trains, along with a few friends and fellow teachers. The event is open to all ages.
The former Suffolk University varsity basketball player and his cousin, Brian Brown, have already lined up around 20 sponsors, including Sports Authority and radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“I contacted Guinness Book a while back to see what we needed to set the record,” Currier said. “There are a lot of rules to follow, and you have to have a ref on the court at all times. We’re ready to go for the record and support two great causes at the same time.
“My Dad passed away in 2010 at age 54, and he’s one of the oldest with the disease to live so long. The average age is now 37, but he fought through it. We were lucky to have him for that many years.”
Currier said St. John’s Prep basketball coach and former Bishop Fenwick/Providence College/Ohio State great Sean Connolly will be the honorary tipoff guest on Saturday morning. There will be face-painting, food, music, games, prizes, a 50-50 raffle and other raffles throughout the 24-hour period.
The hope is that the game can raise $5,000 for cystic fibrosis research and another $1,000 for YMCA scholarships.
“It’s going to be a great time,” Currier said. “Anybody looking to get some exercise and have fun should join us.
“I’m a firm believer that any kid should have the opportunity to go to summer camp even if the family can’t afford it. We’re all very excited about this event and helping two great causes.”
Those interested in playing, helping out or donating to the cause can contact Currier at 978-578-77897 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.