HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – In the wake of tragedy, support breaking through. A benefit billiards tournament honoring Holyoke mall-shooting victim Trung “Michael” Tran at Ivory Billiards Lounge in Holyoke.
Alan Hubert of Chicopee said, “It’s not something that should ever have happened.”
Michael was a technician at Touch of Beauty Hair & Nail Salon inside the mall, where the deadly incident occurred. He was said to have been an innocent bystander in the confrontation between two others and tragically died after sustaining a gunshot wound. Following his untimely passing, a long-time client now keeping his memory alive.
Kelly Hall, the Owner of American Pool Players Association of NE told 22News, “He was a wonderful person, and great family man and I just knew right away that I wanted to do something.”
That’s when the American Pool Players Association of NE connected with Ivory Billiards.
Tom Lucchesi, the co-owner of Ivory Billiard Lounge in Holyoke said, “Holyoke mall is our mall, most of the members of our family and friends shop at that mall and I felt that anyone of us could have been the unfortunate victim of that shooting, so we felt very strongly about helping the family.”
The tournament consists of two-player teams, $25 per person. Half of the money goes to the overall prize fund, the other half goes to Michael’s wife and seven-year-old son. Players and spectators also getting the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a number of donated prizes.
Tom Lucchesi added, “Over 100 players signed up in advance for this tournament and this is by far the largest offering of prizes we’ve ever had for a benefit raffle here at the Ivory Billiard Room.”
This tournament, serving as an example of how the community has banded together, to offer support for Michael’s family since his passing.
Kelly Hall said, “We’re just really happy to help her. She’s a young mom and Michael loved his family. He worked very hard and no one more deserving in my eyes.”
The initial fundraising goal was $10,000. As of Saturday afternoon, the fundraiser has raised a little over $15,000 for Michael’s family.