Colgate freshman sets up fundraiser in honor of Boston bombing victim

Lexi Lazares

Colgate University will host a special mixed-doubles tennis tournament on the J.W. Abrahamson Memorial Courts on Thursday, May 2 at 4pm in honor of Martin Richard, the 8â??year-old boy that died in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The event was organized by a Colgate University freshman who shared a special connection with Martin.

19-year-old Lexi Lazares, a Milton, Massachusetts native, worked as Martinâ??s tutor and mentor during her senior year of high school. Lazares worked in the second-grade classroom at the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where she helped the kids with speech and reading comprehension. â??We worked really hard together on sounding out words and sentences,â?? Lazares said. â??We worked a lot of one-on-one with group readings and other books that were assigned.â??

She remembers Martin as a very intelligent, happy boy who was an avid Red Sox fan, always called her â??Miss Lexi,â?? and would make sure the rest of the class paid attention to her lessons.

Lazares even helped Martin with his poster that read â??No more hurting people, peace,â?? words that are now famous in contrast to the actions of the alleged bombers.

When she heard that Martin had been killed in the bombing, Lazares said she could not understand how anyone could do something like that to an innocent child.

Lazares is a member of the tennis team at Colgate, which was the inspiration for the tennis tournament fundraiser, and feels the sporting event is a fitting tribute for a child with a deep love for sports. â??I couldnâ??t think of a better way to commemorate his love for athletics than to host a fundraiser involving a sporting event,â?? she said. â??I play tennis here at Colgate, so for me I knew that was the best way for me to help and make sure his memory will live on through a sport that I love.â??

Lazares says she has already raised $2,000, and is expecting to get more from alumni and the Hamilton community. An un-named corporate sponsor has also agreed to match all the donations the fundraiser receives, and donated a four-pack of Boston Red Sox tickets that will be raffled off.

It costs $12 to play, plus $10 if you want to be entered into the raffle for the tickets. All proceeds will go to the Neighborhood House Charter School, which aims to provide a better educational option for low-income Boston families.

Olivieriâ??s will donate pizza, and Gilliganâ??s Island will bring its â??Raider Passionâ?? ice cream.

Spectators are welcome at the tournament and can donate while they enjoy the tennis, live music and other games.