In a matter of a few excruciating hours last summer, Reid Garrant’s life was over at 22.
A former lineman for the Pentucket Regional and UMass Dartmouth football programs, Garrant succumbed to acute promyelocytic leukemia on June 1, shortly after his diagnosis.
On Saturday, his former high school and college teammates will take part in an alumni flag football game in West Newbury, on his high school field at Pentucket, to support the Reid Landry Garrant Foundation, created by his mother, Paula, in his memory.
The game will raise money for and awareness of acute leukemia and other blood cancers.
News of Garrant’s death hit the Pentucket and UMass Dartmouth communities hard. He was adored by all.
“Anyone who met Reid loved him,” said Paula Garrant.
“We want this charity to be as big [6-foot-3, 290 pounds] as Reid was. He had the biggest heart and would help anyone in need.”
The Sachems dedicated their season to Garrant’s memory, donning his number 59 on helmet decals. In addition, his number was retired Oct. 13 before Pentucket’s home opener against Newburyport.
Reid was a key player on Pentucket’s 2013 squad that finished 8-2, losing to Bedford in the Division 4 final.
“It was hard to be [at the ceremony] without him,” said Paula Garrant. “It was very solemn but touching. My son grew up on that field, it was where he got all his accolades and was recruited to play college football.”
Pentucket coach Steve Hayden and UMD coach Mark Robichaud will coach the respective squads on Saturday. The goal is to spread awareness for the charity and honor Reid’s personal motto: Family, God, Football.
“The sky is the limit,” said Garrant. “We’ve given out money to two families already with two more designated to receive funds from the charity game. We are also working to set up a fund with Reid’s church, Holy Redeemer in West Newbury, and creating scholarships for football players who exemplify leadership qualities.”
Tickets are available online and at the event for $20, with all proceeds going to the Reid Landry Garrant Foundation.Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @DanielRShulman.