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Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

#KeepSmilin4Abbie Stays Strong 10 Years On

Callie Weston
KeepSmilin4Abbie Field Hockey event

On October 15th, the Hillers varsity field hockey team beat the Division 1 Natick team 4-1—a victory that also marked the 10th anniversary of the KeepSmilin4Abbie Field Hockey Fundraiser.

The non-profit was established by Stephon and Amy Benford in 2014 in memory of their daughter, former Hopkinton High School student Abbie Benford.

“We started the KeepSmilin4Abbie foundation right after our daughter died from an anaphylactic reaction to food. Abbie was a sophomore here and was on the field hockey team—she was a varsity goalie,” Stephon Benford said.

Thanks to the efforts of the field hockey team, Abbie’s spirit lives on in her school and community through events such as bake sales.

“The parents put on a bake sale for the cause, which is really meaningful and emotional. In the end, it’s really cool,” beamed Benford.

A few field hockey players also shared some insights on the event and Benford’s legacy.

“I think it’s a great tradition,” Lilly Anderson said. “It’s good that we still keep her legacy going strong and it means a lot to her friends and family. I think it is a really important event that should keep on happening. I always love this game.”

Goalie Caroline Kane has been involved in the event for the past three years.

“I’m super pumped. This is a great cause. I’m glad that we’ve done it for so many years, and Natick’s a really good team, so I’m excited to see how this plays out,” said Kane.

Zoe Adams expressed her enthusiasm as well.

“I think it’s a very good tradition that we have here at Hopkinton. We need to keep the memory alive and it’s very sweet that we do this,” she said.

“It’s very important that we raise awareness of allergies and play in honor of Abbie,” reflected Karen Tang, the team’s co-manager.

The night was emotional for the field hockey team and the Benford family alike.

“It’s very humbling to us—Abbie has been gone for almost 10 years, yet the former coach ran this every year for charity. Here we are 10 years later and the families and the team are still supporting,” said Stephon Benford.

Looking forward, Abbie’s parents hope to continue raising awareness about anaphylactic reactions.

“After all the dust settles and we’re long gone, people remember our daughter with helping lives. So that’s our goal, saving lives with medical research,” Stephen Benford said.

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