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Fundraiser Starts Series Benefitting Marriott Fund

The Westborough Athletic and Social Association has organized the Jan. 26 event, and plans a golf tournament in May.

A series of events benefitting a new scholarship fund honoring Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott begins later this month.

The Westborough Athletic and Social Association will sponsor "A Night in Remembrance of Lizzi Marriott" from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Indian Meadows Country Club in Northborough. Dancing, music by local dance-rock band Outta Commission, appetizers, a raffle and silent auction will be part of the program.

Tickets are $25, and are available at Central House, Curry Printing, JP’s Restaurant, Sapporo, Westboro House of Pizza and Love Those Nails. Tickets will also be available at the door.

All proceeds will benefit the Lizzi Marriott Intrepid Explorer Fund.

The non-profit, tax-exempt fund will support scholarships “for young adults looking to embrace an education and life working in marine sciences. Preference will be given to Westborough High School graduates, volunteers at the New England Aquarium and University of New Hampshire students studying marine sciences,” according to an association flyer.

Lizzi Marriott was studying marine sciences at UNH when she was murdered on Oct. 9, the flyer notes.

The Jan. 26 event will be the first in a series of fundraisers the association will sponsor for the fund, event Co-Chairmen Gary Leach and Bob Gendron said Thursday night.

The next event will be a golf tournament, currently scheduled for May 17 at Juniper Hills in Northborough, Leach said. The association expects the tournament to become an annual event.

Gendron said he hopes the Jan. 26 event draws 800 to 1,000 people.

Organizers have not set a fundraising goal, he said.

“We’re aiming high, but we won’t be disappointed, because we know we’re just putting our best foot forward,” Gendron said.

Lizzi’s father, Bob, is a member of the association, and “when she was missing, we, as a group of Westborough guys, took a Friday off and we went up there” to help search, Gendron said.

“As members here, we’re almost like a fraternity, where we are kind of family. We do things as a club. We do a lot of things in the community, but we also do things with our wives. So, when something like this hit, it really hit home to all of us,” he said.

The association held an emergency meeting to discuss helping the family, Gendron said. A five-member committee was formed, with Leach and Gendron as co-chairs.

Gendron said he and Leach ultimately went to the Marriotts’ home, offering the group’s help.

 “Of course, Bob’s been in the club long enough where he knew that anything that we would do, we would do very respectfully,” Gendron said.

Leach said they then presented the family with ideas.

“At the end of the day, it’s their wish to set up the Intrepid Explorer Fund in Lizzi’s name, and start that living memorial for her,” Leach said.

“So, what we’re doing is really supporting the wishes of the family in Lizzi’s name.”

The Jan. 26 event is the latest display of community support for the family.

“I think it’s helped them gain strength, just from all the support that they have received, from not just members of the club but the entire community,” Gendron said.

“They’ve welcomed the support.”

Leach said community members can go to http://www.rememberlizzi.org/  or e-mail rememberlizzi@gmail.com to learn how to support the event, such as through sponsorships, and donations to the raffle and silent auction.

Tee’s Deli in Worcester is sponsoring the appetizers, he noted.

And Outta Commission has donated its services for the event, Gendron said.

“They’re good local guys. They’ve helped us in the past with other fundraisers,” he said.

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