Family Fun Day celebrates former student Trebor Dooley


Srinithi Raj

Trebor Dooley's classmates and friends had created a collage in his memory

Srinithi Raj, Feature Editor

On Sunday, May 5th Westford Academy hosted its first Family Fun Day event in honor of a past Westford Academy student, Trebor Dooley.

Starting at 4 p.m. after the Westford Road Race, the Family Fun event included multiple events for people of all ages, ranging from an obstacle course and wiffle ball station, to live music by WA’s own graduate, Caroline Gray. Families were also able to enjoy dinner at the event while subsequently playing games and taking pictures with characters, such as Pat the Giant, indoors.

Some of the continual events of the day included the door prizes that each member who attended the event had an opportunity to enter, as well as the silent auction that contained some more highly valued prizes, including sports memorabilia. One of the Red Sox’s Series Championship trophies was also on display for visitors.

Both student and adult volunteers, as well as police and other staff members supervised the event throughout the day.

As for preparation during the event itself, the teachers who were part of the after-school meetings for the event planning came to WA at noon to set up the event, and left the building at 8:30 p.m., according to one of the event coordinators, Melanie Jozokos.

Overall, the event raised over $5,000, according to one of the event coordinators, Jozokos. Multiple organizations and businesses, some of which included Sully’s Ice Cream, and Dunkin Donuts, provided the event with donations, as did other donors such as the Dooley family.

“A couple of our former secretaries went on the hunt in town and asked for donations in and around town. But there were some businesses in town that donated things like gift cards, and others actual amounts. The Dooley family was able to donate some of Trebor’s old sports memorabilia, and old students, such as Katie Cash, was able to secure two big raffle prizes from the Red Sox and the Bruins,” Jozokos said.

Profits from the event will be used to create the Trebor Martyn Dooley Scholarship, which all WA students will have the opportunity to apply for beginning next year. The scholarship is to recognize two students each year who have displayed kindness in and out of school, the trait that most represents Dooley.

In general, Family Fun Day began as a small idea to celebrate Dooley, and the main goal of the event was for families to be able to pay their respects to Dooley, while anything that came out of that was more of as a supplement, according to coordinator Betsy Murphy.

Dooley was first diagnosed with brain cancer in seventh grade. He passed away last year on July 25, 2018, at the age of 31, never having had a proper funeral service.

Especially when he was a student at WA, he suffered much from the disease.

“He began to age quickly, became nauseous, and suffered a lot physically during his time,” history teacher Richard McHugh said.

Despite battling the disease not only once but twice, Dooley is remembered to have been only positive, caring a lot for those around him. Commemorating his optimism and altruism, some of the staff at WA, mainly Jozokos, McHugh, and Murphy organized the Family Fun Day event. Over the past few months, however, it evolved into a much larger scale project to represent Dooley.

“Mr. McHugh’s brainchild was to do something for Treb. He wanted to originally organize a small walk in town from all the schools that used to be WA. And then, the three of us said, ‘what if we kind of morphed it into this Family Fun Day idea.’ There were three of us at the original after-school meeting for that idea, but with the next few meetings, that number grew,” Jozokos said.

Ultimately, people such as Jozokos and Murphy consider the Family Fun Day event a success– it was both a time for people to appreciate Dooley, what he had gone through, as well as his achievements as a human being. The event will likely be the last of its kind.

“The event was very emotional for all of us. Mr. Towers gave a touching speech during the end of the event. Trebor didn’t have a memorial for some personal reasons, but for many, this event provided closure for a lot of us who knew and loved him,” Jozokos said.