Globe South People

Holbrook family joins walk

By Paul E. Kandarian
September 4, 2011

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HOLBROOK FAMILY JOINS WALK: The youth soccer teams that Henry “Zack’’ Gorman coached for more than 20 years never won a championship, making the playoffs a number of times in South Shore tournaments but never notching a title.

That didn’t matter to Gorman, said his son, Zack Gorman, 29. What did were the lessons the game taught.

“My dad was a teacher of the game, very laid back, and to him, the game was more important than the score,’’ said Gorman, a Holbrook resident who works in the TV and film industry doing logistics for set decorators. “Team-building skills were more important.’’

His father died July 4, 2010, after a seven-year battle with cancer. To honor him, Zack Gorman and his family, known as “Team Skip G’s,’’ will walk Sept. 18 alongside nearly 9,000 other participants in the 23d Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. The event supports adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“He was a stand-up gentleman, he shot from the hip, called it like he saw it,’’ Zack Gorman said of his dad, who would have turned 58 in August. “He spent a lot of time involved in soccer, with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, where he was vice president for 12 years and president for a brief time.’’

Skip Gorman, a logistics manager for the trucking industry, coached Zack and his sister, Bridget, 33, when they were kids, and when they outgrew their youth-soccer years, the father and daughter continued to coach a group of girls for many more years. He also helped the community in other ways and in 2007 was the recipient of the Holbrook National Night Out Against Crime Award.

In 2003, Gorman had digestive problems and was eventually diagnosed with colon cancer, undergoing years of chemotherapy and radiation treatments every other week at Dana-Farber. Throughout, Zack Gorman said, his father stayed positive and strong for his family and friends.

“He fought for himself, too, he wanted to be around for things, he wasn’t ready to die when he did,’’ he said. “But at the end, he had come to terms with it.’’

When Skip Gorman was getting treated at Dana-Farber, he noticed brochures promoting the fund-raising walk and said he wanted to help kids battling cancer. In 2007, his wife, Barbara, and sister walked in the event.

The next year, the father was well enough and took part in the Team Gorman Clan. He first thought he could only do five miles, but his doctors encouraged him to do the whole thing.

“And he did it,’’ Zack Gorman said. “I remember him saying ‘I don’t care if you need to put me in a wheelchair, I will finish the 13.1 miles.’’

After Gorman died last July, the family thought it too soon to do the race. This year, they are, redubbing their group Team Skip G’s.

The family is hosting another fund-raising event for Dana-Farber this Saturday at the Holbrook Knights of Columbus, a dinner-dance the family hopes to make an annual event. Tickets are $20.

“I want it to be known that my father was a fighter,’’ said Zack Gorman. “He never allowed cancer to get the best of him.’’

OYSTER FESTIVAL HOPES TO HELP HAITI: The Island Creek Oyster Festival, now in its sixth year at Duxbury Beach and running this Saturday has added a new beneficiary. A new fund-raising event, Friends for Haiti, will be held Friday, benefiting Haiti’s Caribbean harvest, which is trying to remake the fishing industry, create jobs, and provide nutritional and social programs for people in Haiti.

The Island Creek Oyster Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, hopes to raise enough money at the Friday VIP benefit to provide more than 40 Haitian families with a tilapia-farming starter kit, which foundation officials said will boost each family’s annual income from $400 a year to $3,800. Tickets for the event are $250 each.

On Saturday, the festival will feature more than 20 chefs from New England and New York City highlighting the best in local oysters. The foundation provides funding, expertise, and labor to help build sustainable aquaculture systems in impoverished communities around the world. General admission tickets for the festival are $50 each. For information, visit

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Physician Robert J. Caldas of Mattapoisett was named chief medical officer and senior vice president of Southcoast Hospitals Group, which includes Tobey Hospital in Wareham. He is a longtime primary care physician in the region, working most recently with Hawthorn Medical Associates in Dartmouth.

Heather M. Szymczak of Sharon won a new Kia sedan in a contest run by Sullivan Brothers Used Vehicle Outlet in Hanover, part of the dealer’s grand opening. The used-car dealer employs 20 people and expects to add 15, said John Sullivan, cofounder of Sullivan Brothers dealerships, which he and his brothers, Quin and Brian, started in Kingston in 1986.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at