Marblehead seniors raise money for Walker’s organization

Marblehead High School students competed in a volleyball tournament to raise money for Heather Walker’s foundation, Move 4 Heather. Photo by Piper Morgan

On Sunday, Marblehead High School senior and volleyball-team member Caitlin Parkman held a volleyball tournament raising money for a cause that hits close to home. 

With the help of her teammates, dozens of students came out to the school to participate in the tournament and raise money for Move 4 Heather, the charitable organization started by Celtics Vice President of Communications and Marblehead resident Heather Walker, who died on April 26. Walker died from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma, and Move 4 Heather was started following her diagnosis in order to help others affected by the disease. To date, Move 4 Heather has raised more than $600,000, and Parkman wanted to help that number grow. 

“It’s mainly just to bring people together and raise money for the Walker family in a fun way that people would enjoy,” said Parkman. 

The tournament was Parkman’s senior project and was originally set to raise money for Dig Pink, a breast cancer organization. When Walker died, her project supervisor and assistant Marblehead Volleyball Head Coach Mandy Dumais suggested that she change the charity to Move 4 Heather to tie the event closer to the community.

“Heather’s daughter, Sammy Walker is really into volleyball and has really been loving it recently,” said Dumais. “So when her mother passed away, we thought it would hit more close to home.”

The idea to hold a volleyball tournament for charity originally came from Parkman’s teammate and fellow senior, Lucy Sabin, who then let Parkman run with the idea as she took on a different project. 

At the event, Sabin reflected on the impact that Walker has had on the Marblehead community and beyond, and said that the tournament was a great way to remember her life.

“She’s such a female inspiration,” Sabin said. “As a student athlete, seeing a female so well established in the sports world, it’s an inspiration and it’s a perfect way to honor her memory and raise money and have fun doing it.” 

  • Ryan Vermette is the Item's Marblehead reporter. He graduated from Springfield College in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications/Sports Journalism. While in school, he wrote multiple sports articles for the school newspaper, the Springfield Student, and joined Essex Media Group in August, 2022. Ryan is a college basketball fanatic and an avid Boston sports fan and in his free time, enjoys video games and Marvel movies.