Family and friends of Dennis C. Thomson and John “Okie” O’Connell will host its fourth annual NQHS Scholarship Concert Fundraiser at Florian Hall in Dorchester on Saturday, Nov. 29th. Doors open at 7 p.m. Donation at the door is $20.
Dennis and Okie were the closest of friends and both were North Quincy High School graduates in the class of 2002. Dennis and Okie were phenomenal athletes who loved playing and attending sporting events especially baseball. Dennis also had an interest for football and Okie’s passion was basketball.
On Oct. 30, 2004, while driving to visit friends, having time off from the Air Force life an alleged drunk driver struck Dennis’ Jeep and he passed away from his injuries on Nov. 22, 2004. Dennis was 20 years old.
Okie, while attending his final year in college, attempted to stop a fight between a friend and another man. He was punched without provocation, hit his head on the ground and lapsed into a coma. Okie had passed no more than 24 hours later due to his injuries on Oct. 21, 2005. John O’Connell was 21 years old.
Both family and friends have established a memorial fund in their sons’ names to help those North Quincy High School students who best represent the qualities that Dennis and Okie had academically, athletically and socially.
Throughout the years there have been many fundraising events to raise money for the scholarship funds, including annual basketball and golf tournaments. Though both have been successful, the DCT and Okie Scholarship Committee still felt there was a void during the fall and saw an opportunity for a new event.
In November 2011, the Committee coordinated the first annual DCT & OKIE concert fundraiser. This started with over 300 people going to see local acts in Quincy. The event, now in its fourth year has grown wildly and we expect over 600 in attendance and have since added significant touring bands from Boston.
This year there is an option for those that cannot attend the event to make a donation at Rally.org/DCTOKIE this way even those that can’t be there can still be involved. This event is a great way to honor the memories of two young men that were taken far too soon and we appreciate any help. Your support will go a long way toward the realization of a college degree for a deserving graduate of North Quincy High School.