New England Women’s Pool Alliance raises $32k for Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Suad Kantarevic & Beau Powers

In 1947, Dr. Sidney Farber, after almost 20 years as a Pathology instructor at Harvard Medical School, a year as Chairman of Staff at the affiliated (Boston) Children’s Hospital and a recent (at the time) appointment as Pathologist-in-Chief at the hospital, began raising funds for cancer research. Focused primarily on what had become his specialty, diseases in children and infants, Farber’s research into a broad variety of childhood diseases led to his being considered the founder of pediatric pathology.

In partnership with the Variety Club of New England at the time, the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation (CCRF) was created and became one of the first nationwide fundraising campaigns to take full advantage of what was then, modern media outlets, like radio and a little later, television.  In its first year of fund-raising on the radio broadcast of Truth or Consequences in 1948, one of the first patients of the Foundation appeared on the show. He was 12-year-old Einer Gustafson, but to protect his privacy, he was nicknamed “Jimmy.” The nickname triggered the re-naming of the foundation to The Jimmy Fund. 

Though he’d already established himself as an important medical researcher in the field of Pediatric medicine, Farber’s recognition of the importance of marketing in the scientific advancement of knowledge about diseases led him to become not just a clinician, but a public research advocate, as well. His marketing efforts brought cancer into the public spotlight and propelled funding and awareness for cancer research for the remainder of the century and beyond, to this day.

Long known as one of the first charitable affiliations of the Boston Braves (later, the Boston Red Sox) and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (among others), the Jimmy Fund continues the work it began almost 75 years ago. Thanks to the New England Women’s Pool Alliance (NEWPA), over $32,000 (and counting) has been added to the Jimmy Fund, through an event that began on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021 and will continue until the end of this month. 

The occasion for the initial donations was a “Pool for Jimmy” Scotch Doubles event, which drew 32 teams of two to the Crow’s Nest Pub & Grill in Plaistow, NH. Team donations, as well as donations from those who didn’t compete are ongoing at the event Web site –

Those who actually participated and those who made (and continue to make) a donation are “directly supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s unique 50-50 balance between cutting-edge science and highly compassionate cancer care,” notes the Web site’s introduction to the fund-raising campaign. 

“Your support,” the Web site goes on to say, “allows Dana-Farber leaders to enhance programs and initiatives that serve pediatric and adult patients and their families.”

“Families” was the keyword in the Scotch Doubles event, as well, with the Minichiello brothers (Rich, Jr. and Mike), the father and son team of Everett and Daren Belliveau, the father and daughter team of Jeff and Jocelyn Bickford, the husband and wife team of Matt and Heidi Rezendes and the nephew/uncle team of Rick and Joe Matarazzo. The Minchello brothers’ father, Rich, died of cancer, as did Rick Matarrazo’s father and Joe Matarazzo’s brother.

Other family connections related to the fund-raising efforts included stream commentator, Mike DeMarco (a pancreatic cancer survivor), Jay Duffin (cancer survivor), Marc Dionne (tour director of the NE 9-Ball Series, whose father died of cancer), and Mark Morgan (whose father is currently undergoing cancer treatment). Katie Fiorilla, co-founder of the NEWPA, has spent the majority of her adult life in Oncology medical research, working toward developing treatments and cures for cancer. 

The team of Beau Powers and Suad Kantarevic ended up winning the event. Sent to the loss side by Team Minichiello in a double-hill, winners’ side semifinal, they returned after winning three matches on the loss side to down Team Minichiello 7-5 in the finals.

Each team in the event had a fundraising page, which has accounted for over $24,000 of the $32,678 raised, to date. An “Opportunity Drawing” and other donations have contributed to the cause. You can contribute to the fund-raising event, whose original goal was $20,000, by linking to the page noted above.