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April 28. 2013 7:16PM

Windham residents keep Boston close to their hearts with shirt sale


Windham residents Braedan Macary and Zoe LeClerc, both 8, showed off their "Boston Strong" tee shirts at Griffin Park on Saturday. The Windham Youth League sold around 500 shirts to benefit the family of Martin Richard, an 8-year-old Dorchester, Mass. boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
WINDHAM - Members of Windham's local sports community are doing their part in lending a hand to those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.

On Saturday morning, a mountain of "Boston Strong" T-shirts awaited their new owners in the outdoor pavilion at Griffin Park.

Atkinson resident David Tremblay, who owns Atkinson Graphics, designed the shirts.

Tremblay began selling the custom shirts in the days following the tragedy at this year's Boston Marathon, with proceeds to benefit the family of Martin Richards, an 8-year-old Dorchester, Mass., boy who was killed in the bombings.

According to Tremblay, $2 from every shirt sold will be given to Martin's surviving family. Both Martin's mother, Denise, and his 6-year-old sister were severely injured in the attacks.

Tremblay created a similar shirt in the wake of the September 11 attacks and was able donate thousands of dollars toward the United Way's relief efforts.

As of last weekend, Tremblay had sold around 2,500 shirts.

David Macary, president of the Windham Baseball Softball League, said he learned about the fundraiser during a phone conversation with Tremblay last week.

Atkinson Graphics has been supplying the local youth teams with uniforms for several years, and when Macary heard what his friend was doing, he knew he wanted to help.

Knowing the youth sports league didn't have the funds to purchase hundreds of shirts outright, Macary opted to instead post a notice on the organizations' website, encouraging parents and children to place their shirt orders online.

"It seemed like the perfect way to get the word out," Macary said, noting that orders were also placed by students at Windham High School.

The outpouring of public support was almost instant.

"I think we sold about 150 shirts within the first 12 hours," he said.

Local residents ordered a total of 400 shirts and, realizing the likely demand, the Windham Youth League purchased an additional 100 shirts to be sold onsite last Saturday, which Macary expected would sell out.

Available in youth and adult sizes, the shirts sell for $10 each and are also available for sale locally at the Stateline PaySaver store in Salem and at Foods Plus and Signal Street Variety in Plaistow.

For more information, visit www.atkinsongraphics.com or call 898-4646.

aguilmet@newstote.com

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