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New England pool community raises $7K to benefit Marathon victim and Hall of Famer, Jarrod Clowery

In the early morning hours of Monday, June 10, Rich Britt found himself battling in the second set of a true double elimination final against Mike Keith. Sitting in the hot seat, having defeated Keith 6-3 to get there, Britt was shut out in the opening set and was down 3-1 in the second set. 

Sitting nearby, watching Britt play, was his best friend, from the age of 12, Jarrod Clowery. The tournament, which had drawn 68 players to Snooker's in Providence, RI, was a benefit for Clowery, who had been injured, severely, in the Boston Marathon bombing. The impetus for the tournament came out of Snooker's where a picture of Clowery hangs, recognizing his induction into the New England Pool Hall of Fame in 2012. House pro Ray McNamara is reported to have been the first to discuss the notion of a benefit tournament. The 'ball' of talk about it was picked up by Marc Dionne, tournament director of the New England 9-Ball Tour, and with enthusiastic support from the owners of the pool hall (Steve and Regina Goulding), and countless members of the New England pool community, including Mike Dechaine, it quickly became a reality, scheduled for June 9.
A collection jar was established immediately, and by the time the tournament was over, through raffles, entry fees and donations from a variety of sources, the event had raised nearly $7,000 to offset a combination of medical and living expenses, incurred by Clowery during his hospitalization and rehabilitation, following the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.
Clowery is still facing surgery for the removal of shrapnel that had entered his body from (as he put it) his "ass to his ankles." He'd dropped like a stone, a victim of the second bomb, and been assisted immediately by two off-duty Connecticut police officers, who'd come to town to see the Red Sox play. These two – Karen Morehead and Jeff Menino – stayed with Clowery until an ambulance arrived. Rich Britt was at his side, pretty much from that point on
So there they were, the two of them, as the Sunday event turned into a Monday event. Britt wanting to win the tournament for his best friend. Clowery in the viewing area, still recuperating from his injuries, determined to watch his best friend do it.
With Britt in the hot seat, Keith had moved over to face the owner of Snooker's, Steve Goulding. They fought to double hill in those semifinals; Keith, anxious for a second crack at Britt, Goulding wanting a chance just as badly. Keith prevailed and in short order, took the opening set of the finals 6-0. Down 3-1 in the second set, Britt took command and won five straight to claim the top prize, a 32", LCD TV, which he promptly gave to Clowery.
"Richie's been my friend since we were kids," said Clowery, "and he stayed by my side the whole time. So then he turns around, wins the tournament, gives me the TV and won't take no for answer."
Britt, as it turned out, was just the tip of the benevolent iceberg. Mike Dechaine, who's known Clowery "since forever," too, and was 10 minutes away from the bombing sight when it occurred, organized the raffle of a Predator Cue that added over $2,000 to the coffers. He also added the entry fee to participate in the tournament and didn't play. Snookers raised over $500. MD (Marc Dionne) Promotions raised over $1,500, and there was that collection jar that had been gathering money since the idea for the benefit tournament was first proposed.
"It's the first time I've seen this pool community come together like this," said David Livesey, Snooker's general manager. "The fact that someone we knew had been injured brought (the bombing) home to everybody.
"The tournament filled a need everybody had to do something," he added, "whether it was time or money."
"It was a wonderful event," said Marc Dionne, who's also known Clowery for a long time. "It was different from any other tournament, because everybody just had fun. It didn't matter whether you won or lost, it was all about just helping Jarrod get through this ordeal."
And it ended, in those early Monday morning hours, on a note of poetic justice, as the two best friends returned each other's favors; Britt winning it for Clowery, and Clowery there in the stands to root him on.