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Fifth annual Play for Kurt lacrosse game is Saturday at Buckingham

Kurt Skelley playing for the Avon High boys lacrosse team in 2011. (Photo courtesy Elaine Nord)

AVON  – Dozens of former Avon High lacrosse players, friends and family members are expected to attend the fifth annual “Play for Kurt” lacrosse game on Saturday, June 29 at Buckingham Field at noon.

While the event began as the annual Avon High alumni lacrosse game, it has been modified to be a fundraiser for the Kurtis Robert Skelley Memorial Fund. The fund helps raise awareness to nuture, educate and save young adults suffering with depression.

Kurt Skelley graduated from Avon High in 2011. He died in March 2014. He was an outstanding lacrosse player at Avon and Springfield College. He was All-State in his senior year, scoring 26 goals with six assists.

Skelley’s mother, Lisa Ludwig, delivered a passionate message at the debut event in 2015.

“If you all keep Kurt in your hearts as you journey through your own lives, I believe that you may be able to help or even save someone’s life,” Ludwig said. “All you need to do is be truthful and to talk.

“Talk about your feelings, talk about what you need, talk about how others are doing, talk about the pressures, talk about getting help, talk like you have never talked before,” she said. “You see, if you are talking then others will start talking and in time, talking about depression and the truth without the stigma will become the norm.”

Former Avon High lacrosse players that would like to play can simply show up to play.

A website has been set up to raise awareness of depression in young adults and to raise money in support of individuals and organizations devoted to this cause. Please donate at

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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