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North Sea Tug-of-War Challenge to Honor Late East Ender Declan Boland

This event has been moved to the rain date, Sunday.

This Sunday, October 5, North Sea community members will gather for a tug of war challenge in honor of Declan Boland, a local man who died earlier this year in a freak work accident, leaving behind a wife and three young children.

The tug-of-war challenge and family festival at North Sea Fireman’s Field will benefit education for Boland’s three kids, who are 1, 4 and 7 years old. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Ireland, Boland was working for East Coast Mines Ltd. in East Quogue when he died after the ground he was standing on collapsed, burying him. As of this writing, money raised from donations and team sponsors totals $90,000, making organizers’ goal of $100,000 well within reach.

“I wanted to do something to draw a crowd,” says Declan Blackmore, a family friend organizing the event. “When it came to organizing something out here, a lot of people do golf outings, you’re 1 in 100.”

The tug of war challenge will feature 20 teams, each sponsored by a local business who will earn bragging rights for the next year. “[Boland] was a part of that group of people—excavators, landscapers, builders,” Blackmore says. “I used to call him MacGyver—he could fix anything, and he was constantly being called on to fix things.”

Every team gets two chances to compete, with the 10 winners of the first round guaranteed to advance. The 10 losers will face each other, and the winners of that round, plus one more team, will then advance into a 16-team, single elimination bracket. There is a 1,500-pound weight limit, and teams must include 6 males and two females.

Registration for the event begins at noon, and the tug of war kicks off at 1 p.m., following the singing of the American and Irish national anthems. After hours of heated competition, the winner will be announced by 4 p.m.

The event will also be a day of family fun, as kids are welcome to enjoy bouncy castles, face painting and cotton candy. Local restaurateur Tim Burke will be catering, providing burgers, hot dogs, water, beer and wine. All profits will go toward the fund.

Donations to the fund can be made to St. John’s Church, the Declan Boland Fund, and send it to John Larkin CPA, c/o Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank, LLP, 78 White Street, Southampton, NY 11968. For more information, email dbolandmemorial@yahoo.com.

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