New England Sports Center to Host Charity Hockey Event to Benefit the West Tuttle Foundation
In his 26 years as general manager of the New England Sports Center, the 10-rink facility located at the intersections of Highways 295 and 495 in Marlborough, West Tuttle was the gregarious but proud and determined dad who put his soul into introducing the game of hockey to thousands of boys and girls in the Northeast.
And continuing their development, skates laced, stick in hand, as they pursued their dreams on the ice, whether at the high school, junior, college or National Hockey League levels.
His impact, until his sudden death at age 62 from a heart attack on September 19, 2020, was profound.
“He was all about his beloved [city] of Marlborough, growing the game of hockey and, more importantly, the people who made up those communities,” said lifelong friend John Butler, the boys’ former hockey coach at Marlborough High.
“He had a passion for encouraging young children to get on the ice and get excited about the game he played and loved. Beyond acting though, he quietly helped so many people behind the scenes without any fanfare. He always put the person first and did the right thing for them even when no one was watching. This is what made West Tuttle so beloved by all who knew him.
In his honor, Butler and others have launched the Wes Tuttle Foundation, which will raise funds to be awarded annually to young student-athletes who have financial hardships getting in the way of their path to success – through hockey programs. for young people and secondary schools through scholarships.
On Sunday starting at 2 p.m., three hours after Marlborough High took on Hanover at TD Garden for the Division 3 state title, an on-ice fundraising event will take place at the New England Sports Center.
The first event will be an exhibition game featuring former players who skated for Tuttle at Marlborough High or in his Minuteman Flames youth program. Then at 3 p.m., longtime friends of Tuttle’s will skate in two 25-minute halves against the Boston Bruins alumni team.
According to Butler, the Foundation has already raised $175,000, with former players donating more than $75,000. And the total figure is expected to top over $200,000 after Sunday’s event.
“It will be a great day for Marlborough and West Tuttle,” Butler said. “He’s watching from above and pulling the strings!”
Additionally, the Foundation is working with the Town of Marlborough and Mayor Arthur G. Vigeant to locate land that can be developed into street hockey and roller hockey facilities. With sufficient funding, another goal is to acquire a refrigerator system for an outdoor winter rink in Tuttle’s honor.
For those wishing to donate to the foundation, visit https://fanthem.io/give/bruinsalumni/2022/wes-tuttle-foundation/fanbassadors/john-butler.
Craig Larson can be reached at [email protected]