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Ramblins from the desk of Mr. Gaff. A tremendous fundraiser for Paul Semele and the Raiders football team on the brink of something memorable.

POSTED November 07, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: They started coming more than an hour early and the sea of friends and family simply never stopped coming.

Coming to see a man who had done so much for so many over his decades of helping and serving his community.

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, Torrington and a ton of folks from the Northwest Corner and beyond, came to show their love and support for Paul Semele Jr. who is in a battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

The event, held at Chatterley’s Banquet Facility, was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. but by 2 p.m., the lines had started as the folks inside hurried to get ready.

By 2:40 when I pulled into the already overflowing parking lot, I thought I must have done something strange with my clock when I adjusted for Daylight Savings Time going away.

Turned out though, I was okay, folks all just seemed to have the same idea about trying to beat the rush but alas, none of us did that, nor did any of us care.

The banquet facility, the location that we have held our Litchfield County Sports banquet for the past four years, was alive with love for a guy who has hosted countless benefits for people in need over the years.

As he said in thanking the masses during the event, “I never thought there would be one for me.”

I have said it many, many times over the years.

Torrington shows up and boy did we ever on Sunday night.

His battle is far from over and tough roads lie ahead but one thing is certain. This guy is a fighter and he’s got thousands of folks lifting him up every step of the way.

---The Torrington football team is entering their final three games of the regular season with a chance to put this down as one special season, perhaps even a playoff kind of campaign.

Fresh off their 14-7 win over Naugatuck, a win that some called an upset but if you had been paying attention to this team and what they have been building, it really wasn’t.

The Raiders grit and determination has been evident since day one of the season this year and considering they left 21 points or so on the field because of mistakes, this could have been a truly lopsided affair.

Torrington (5-2) dominated on the lines, a trend that has made them dangerous all year as they head into a crucial contest on Friday when they travel to Waterbury to take on Holy Cross (5-2) at Municipal Stadium at 6:30.

The Crusaders present perhaps one of the toughest challenges of the season on what looks to be a brutal weather night in the Brass City.

We will be experiencing early winter temperatures in the high 20’s with a wind chill that will have us all searching for hand warmers and a spot in the press box.

Torrington stays on the road the remainder of the season after Friday with a game at St Paul (1-6) on Friday, November 15 before prepping for their Thanksgiving Day battle in Watertown (4-2).

At the moment, the Raiders sit in the ninth spot in the Class M playoff race with the top eight playing in December.

If they run the table, will 8-2 be good enough?

It’s nice to at least be having the conversation.


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