Reunions are happy occasions, and when Algonquin graduates from the late 1980’s gather at a bar this weekend to watch one of their favorite bands reunite, there will no shortage of laughter, shared jokes, and joyful reminiscing. But at this reunion there may also be some tears.
The event at Willikers Tex-Mex and BBQ in Shrewsbury on Saturday will bring together five graduates of the class of 1988 who back in their heyday formed the band Northboro-Southboro Connection. They’ll be playing in memory of class of 1989 graduate Kristin George Porter who died of cancer in June at the age of 40, leaving behind a husband and two young children.
“Kristin had a huge heart,” friend Karen Bartolomei said. “Her warmth, kindness and energy rubbed off on everyone who knew her.”
Bartolomei joined with friends and former classmates Stefanie Ranieri Cappello, Heather Wehmann Berube, and Sue Ontso, to establish a scholarship in Kristin’s honor. The scholarship will be awarded to an Algonquin senior who “shares Kristin’s passion for journalism and writing,” Bartolomei said.
When NSC band members Greg Krikorian, Gary Guzzi, Jeff Johnson, Mike Bernier, and Jay Wentzell take the stage on Saturday night, they’ll help raise money for the scholarship fund. Southborough resident Capello said they didn’t know it when they planned the event, but Saturday is the wedding anniversary of Kristin and her husband Brian, a coincidence she interprets as a “wink” from Kristin.
“Kristin had a gift for bringing people together and remembering the most positive things about everyone she knew,” Bartolomei said. A gift that seems to be true not only in her life, but also in her death.
The show starts at 8:00 pm at Willikers Tex-Mex and BBQ in Shrewsbury (896 Hartford Turnpike). If you can’t make it to the show, you can contribute to the Kristin George Porter Scholarship Fund online via Facebook. You can also read more about Kristin and her year-long battle with cancer on her blog Thrive.
(Photo: Kristin George Porter, via kristinporter.blogspot.com)