KEENE, N.H. – During his time as a high school basketball star, Ian Springfield helped lead his team to a state championship but refused to accept personal awards, preferring that the whole team share the spotlight.
Now, more than three decades since he last donned a Conant High Orioles jersey and stepped onto the home court in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, his former team – fresh from another state championship – is honoring Springfield’s generosity and love of sports.
The team members recently asked that $1,000 the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club raised for them be donated to Community Resources for Justice’s ACTIVELife program, where Springfield was a client for 12 years before he passed away from Huntington’s disease in June at age 50. The Keene-based program provides a range of social and mentoring services for adults who need supervised care during the day.
It’s a fitting tribute to Springfield, said Charles Paul Richwine, community participation services coordinator at ACTIVELife.
“We had the honor of being part of Ian’s life to the very end,” Richwine said. “He was one of the most giving and generous people you would ever meet.”
In addition to being a longtime client at ACTIVELife, Springfield lived in a residential program in Keene also operated by Community Resources for Justice. Staff at the residential program were dedicated to Springfield, taking him on weekend trips to Canobie Lake Park, and rock concerts, Richwine said.
The donation will go toward the addition of a 1,200-square-foot multi-purpose activity room at the ACTIVELife office. The activity room will have space for clients to have lunch, do arts and crafts, play games, work on setting goals, and host parties. The program also plans to add exercise equipment and an arcade-style basketball machine like the one Springfield enjoyed playing on before ACTIVELife moved to a new location that didn’t have space for it.
The Rotary Club donation is the largest-ever single donation the Keene program has received.
ACTIVELife is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new multi-purpose room in the fall and will invite Springfield’s family, members of the rotary club, and Orioles players.