NEW MILFORD, N.J. — More than $900 was raised over the weekend at a tennis-baseball game organized by a group of former New Milford High School students honoring their late friend.
The funds will be donated to the Michael John Walsh Scholarship fund, in memory of the New Milford native who passed away due to a drug overdose at 21 years old.
He enjoyed fishing, golfing, playing baseball, tennis baseball, soccer and hockey — which is why his friends say they are honoring his name and raising money for the memorial scholarship fund through a series of celebrations and events that Walsh was passionate about.
"We really want to keep the name Michael John Walsh alive," said NMHS alum Miles Viant, 23, who organized last weekend's game.
"Mike was the kind of kid to go out of his way to help others before he would help himself — the most selfless person I knew.
"All of his friends hope New Jersey and the country as a whole can see the problem that is happening everywhere and do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening to others."
Two weeks ago, Walsh's mom, Nancy, held a cooking class that raised $1,800 for the fund.
Walsh's friends, Joseph Carbone, Alex Brunelli and Keith Devereaux — who launched the scholarship fund in his name — organized a fishing trip on Aug. 10.
"Mike was a kind, caring and genuine human being that touched many people in different ways," Viant said. "Many people liked Mike because of those qualities and miss him every day."
Walsh was a senior at Penn state University, where he made the Dean's List the final four semesters. He was preparing to receive his degree in Agriculture Business Management.
He had just accepted an offer to start his dream job with Cal-Maine in Ohio, where he could pursue his goal to feed the world.
"We just want to have a scholarship in his name," Viant said. "To help someone who deserves it academically, because Mike was always one to help others."