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“This is a very difficult announcement to make,” said Paul Halloran, long-time executive director of the Agganis All-Star Games. “Even though it has been somewhat inevitable for the last several weeks, making it official is still extremely disappointing.”
This year’s Agganis All-Star Games were scheduled to be played June 21-25.
“We waited as long as we reasonably could before cancelling,” Halloran said. “The shutdown came just after we would have been starting the selection process for players. It seems highly unlikely that there will be gatherings of any appreciable number of people two months from now.”
Halloran said the foundation was waiting to see what would happen with spring sports, which were officially canceled last week when Gov. Charlie Baker announced that school buildings would not reopen before the fall.
“For a time, we were holding onto the hope that if there were an abbreviated spring season, maybe our games could in some way fill a gap, at least for the seniors who would have participated,” Halloran said. “Sadly, that will not be the case.”
There have been 58 Agganis All-Star Football Games (1956-58 and 1965-2019; the Polio Bowl, another All-Star football game, was played from 1959-64). A baseball game was added in 1995, followed by boys and girls soccer (1996), softball (1998), boys and girls basketball (2005) and boys and girls lacrosse (2012).
“We have had more than 10,000 student-athletes participate over the last 64 years,” Halloran said. “We are proud of what Agganis Week has become, and we certainly look forward to bringing it back in 2021.”
The primary mission of the Agganis Foundation is to award college scholarships to deserving high school seniors. Since 1958, when the first class of Agganis Scholars were named, the foundation has awarded $2,095,000 in scholarships to 984 student-athletes. This year’s class will bring the number of recipients to more than 1,000.
“That is what we are most proud of,” said Agganis Foundation President Andrew Demakes. “The legacy of Harry Agganis lives on in those who have been honored with a scholarship in his name. While we are truly disappointed to have to cancel this year’s All-Star Games, we are pleased that another class of Agganis Scholars will be named.”
The application process for Agganis scholarships has been ongoing since early March and the deadline for students to apply has been extended from April 30 to May 15, according to Scholarship Committee Chairman Tom Iarrobino.
“We thought with all the uncertainty these kids are going through this semester, we would give some extra time to submit their applications,” Iarrobino said.
For the first time ever, the process for applying for an Agganis Scholarship is completely electronic, with access to the application available at agganisfoundation.com. Converting from a paper process could not have come at a better time.
“It would have been extremely challenging for students to track down paper copies of transcripts and letters of recommendation,” Iarrobino said. “We have been thinking about moving to an electronic application for several years and, fortunately, picked this year to do it.”
Scholarship winners will be notified by June 15 and will receive a $1,000 grant all four years they are in college. Demakes said the foundation is able to continue presenting scholarships thanks in part to the generosity of benefactors such as the Yawkey Foundation, which has donated more than $500,000 over the last 20 years.
“We are most grateful to the Yawkey Foundation and all those businesses and individuals that have supported our foundation over the years,” Demakes said. “Thanks to them, we are able to invest in our future by helping out a group of very deserving students each year.”