The Tommy Tunes Story
2003: The Beginning
It all started On January 1, 2003. That night, I received the tragic news that my good friend and co-worker Tom Connell had passed away from a tragic skiing accident. After mourning the loss of a good friend, I realized the grief I was experiencing was nothing compared to the pain and loss felt by Tom’s 14-year-old son Jared and his 10-year-old daughter Julia. They had to deal with the heartbreak of never seeing their father again.
A few months later, I realized that although I couldn’t bring their father back, I could help them with one of life’s greatest challenges… Paying for college. From 2003 til 2014, all of the proceeds from the tournament went to Tom’s children.
The first 6 years were played with 4 captains and your classic line up in gym class choosing of the teams with David Robinson, Andrew Reardon, John Connell, and David Connell leading each of the teams. As time went on, the event evolved and became a highly competitive tournament.
The years following would be played as a two game elimination tournament where the winner would be crowned the Connell Cup Champion and given a cash prize. The Connell Cup has become a prestigious prize that has teams across the Greater Boston area strategizing all year long.
2014 and Beyond: Diabetes
As of 2014, we had raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Connell family. Tom’s kids had grown up and it was time to change our focus. Both of my parents suffer from Type II diabetes, a terrible disease that can be debilitating if left untreated. What’s worse is that in 2013, 382 million people were diagnosed with diabetes and that number is expected to rise 592 million by 2035. Almost 90-percent of those cases are type-II diabetes which can be prevented through a healthy diet and exercise. I decided to use the tremendous platform we had built to educate the public about the signs, causes and prevention of diabetes. Since 2014, we’ve donated the proceeds of each event to the American Diabetes Association in memory of Tom Connell.
What’s Next for Tommy Tunes?
We plan to keep expanding the tournament and elevating our outreach. We strive to create new ways to spread our message and educate the public about diabetes and how it’s diagnosed and prevented. I hope you’ll join us on October 5th for the 2019 edition of the Tommy Tunes Softball Classic!
Andrew J. Reardon