The MashUp Bids Farewell to Brooks School

With Some Soggy Paddle Play, Thrilling Squash Competition, and Good Fun

The 2023 MashUp once again brought paddle and squash pros, amateurs, students, and fans together for some exciting competition for a good cause. In its 11th year supporting SquashBusters Lawrence, the MashUp presented by the New Balance Foundation spread over two weekends in December to great success. Despite Mother Nature’s downpours, our intrepid paddle teams did their best to eke out some competition at the Dedham County and Polo Club and The Country Club in Brookline on December 3rd, while squash returned to Brooks School in North Andover, likely for the last time; next year we hope to host in our own center! More than 150 players, guests, sponsors and friends contributed to a remarkable fundraising total of over $415,000.

Our paddle teams did their best to kick-off the race for the 2023 Krapels Cup, battling near constant downpours all morning. Despite only one round of competition, all our teams enjoyed a warm welcome and meaningful reflections on the value of SquashBusters from our students Jomar Garcia and Brenda Hernandez.  Former-CEO Greg Zaff made an appearance sharing with the group, “I would not want to be anywhere else.  Seriously, this means everything to me and I am so glad to share the morning and the mission with all of you, while turning it over to Rosemary, Rodney, Becca and Alé, as it’s now their mission.” Special thanks to our paddle pro veterans and newbies – Scott Staniar, Pat McNally, Bill Power, Leo Power, Thomas Nolan, Mike Miller, Stefan Koruga, and Milo Johnson – who took time out of their schedules to support our cause once more.

The squash competition started bright and early the following Sunday with Lawrence Program Director, Vicky Flamenco, welcoming the teams, captains and pros. Rodney Galvao, Senior Development Officer and John Nimick, Tournament Emcee Extraordinaire, joined our students for some spirited circle-ups and qilos, and the competition was underway. When the last ball rolled into the nick, it was the Merrimack Volley, captained by Bruce Landay and Bill Paine, who emerged on top, a total reversal from their fourth place finish last year.

As the pros hit the the courts,  former World Champion Thierry Lincou, representing the Andover Academics, took on the Essex County Nicks’ Hameed Ahmed, while crowd favorite Arthur Gaskin of the Merrimack Volley battled Lawrence Legion’s Kush Kumar, who is fast becoming an SQB regular. Lincou and Kumar emerged victorious, setting up a rematch from the semi-final round last year. Lincou would not be denied this time around, and beat Kumar, sealing the fate for the Legion who might have tied the Volley with a win. Ultimately, Kumar’s loss did not affect the outcome, as Gaskin beat Ahmed sealing Merrimack’s victory. Gaskin also completed a grand slam, serving as the pro on the winning team in all three SQB events in 2023 – the Rumble, the Derby, and the MashUp. Debate of his GOAT status will surely ensue as, like Serena, not all his wins came in the same competition year.

While the paddle and squash matches were spirited and fun, the real heart and soul of the MashUp is the chance for players, pros, and supporters to get know our incredible students. This year, that opportunity included a moving speech from Brenda Hernandez about how SQB supported her through some difficult times growing up – even when she was “a lot”. Hearing her words, we were all reminded of the power of SquashBusters to be a force for good in our students’ lives and for change in the world. Supporters also had the chance to go toe to toe on court with some former students, as six program alums participated in the tournament. Sarah Emerson concluded the day with stories and a tribute to her husband Ed Krapels, who worked alongside Greg Zaff, Tom Hodgson and others to bring SQB to Lawrence. “He loved SquashBusters, its mission, its students”, she told the crowd, as she presented the cup named in his honor to the new champions, the Merrimack Volley.

Our alumni returned to SQB to play in the MashUp.

Shout out to Brooks School who welcomed SQB for over a decade.







The MashUp would not be possible without the support of our incredible community and especially our sponsors: Acadian Software, Brown Brothers Harriman, Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation,  Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co., Westfield Capital Management, Winstanley Enterprises, Floyd Advisory, Moore Concrete Cutting, and Bank of New England.

We have more wonderful picture of the day which you can see at the links below.

Paddle – PW: srwf67

Squash – PW: srwf67

The 2023 MashUp is Underway!

About the Mashup

SQB MashUp Paddle Tournament

December 3rd, 9:00 am-1:00 pm

The Country Club and Dedham Country & Polo Club


SQB MashUp Squash Tournament

December 10th, 9:00 am-1:30 pm

Brooks School


SQB MashUp Awards Ceremony

December 10th, 1:00pm

Brooks School

Join us for the 11th Annual SquashBusters Mashup, a pro-amateur squash and paddle tennis tournament hosted by Brooks School, The Dedham Country and Polo Club, and The Country Club in Brookline.

This year’s MashUp is particularly special as it marks the end of an era at Brooks School as next fall SquashBusters Lawrence unveils its new home – The New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center.

Since expanding north from Boston in 2012, SquashBusters Lawrence has been in search of a permanent home. We’re thrilled to announce that the New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center will be just that—a forever home. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Brooks School for graciously allowing us to use their courts and classrooms throughout these impactful years

If you wish to support SquashBusters Mashup, click the link here

The New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center

The Build Is On!

Construction Update, November 2023

Construction began in the winter of 2022 and the core and shell are complete. The building should be completed and ready for occupancy by fall 2024. The SquashBusters Center will serve as a world class home for the SquashBusters Lawrence program and includes offices and meeting spaces for staff, three classrooms, eight squash courts, two locker rooms, a gym space, and a number of informal meeting areas. Owning and operating this space, in the city where SQB students live, will be transformational for the program

SQB’s planning for programmatic growth are well underway and include increased enrollment, increased dosage, additional school partners, additional summer programming and more and deeper community partnerships. The facility brings SQB much closer to a variety of existing and potential new partners in Lawrence and will increase opportunities for collaboration with these groups, especially those located on nearby Island Street and Everett Mills.

Andrés Burbank-Crump, the Head of Innovation and Partnerships, has been reaching out to mission-aligned organizations to ensure that when the building is not being used by SquashBusters, it can be employed to the benefit of the residents of Lawrence, both through programs run by SquashBusters and in partnership with organizations serving the community. As we consider different ways to utilize the Center, we are mindful of the most pressing needs in Lawrence, as expressed by residents of the city and compiled community needs assessments. Top among these are adult education, immigration services and job opportunities. We are eager to to help meet these needs and more and we anticipate having a positive impact on the community.

The Vision

After more than 8 years of searching for a permanent home in Lawrence, in 2020 SquashBusters reached an agreement with Lawrence Community Works (LCW) to build our own squash and education center. The New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center is part of the LCW’s Island Parkside mixed-use community project, home to 80 units of low-income housing targeting families, a number of community and green spaces such as a revitalization of Ferrous Park, and a half-mile walking trail along the Merrimack River. 

Programmatic Impact 

SquashBusters came to Lawrence in 2012 and has been operating on borrowed and rented spaces throughout the Merrimack Valley ever since. The SquashBusters Center will serve as a world class home for the SquashBusters Lawrence program. The building will include offices and meeting spaces for staff, three classrooms, eight squash courts, two locker rooms, a gym space, and a number of informal meeting areas. Owning and operating this space, in the city where SQB students live, will be transformational for the program, which has been historically limited by the logistical and transportation and the uncertainty of running the our programs on borrowed spaces outside the city of Lawrence. Key programmatic improvements include: 

  • Enrollment: SQB will have the capacity to increase enrollment of middle and high school students from 80 to 120, and post-secondary students from 46 to 75. 
  • Dosage: Current limited access to courts and fitness space means students typically practice twice a week, with each practice lasting between 2-2.5 hours. With the opening of the SquashBusters Center, students will have programming at least 3 times per week and have the opportunity to drop in practically as often as they want, 5-6 days every week. The Center will be open to students for a minimum of 4 hours each day. 
  • School Partners: SQB’s location in the city brings the program significantly closer to additional schools and in many cases relieves SQB of the need to drive students to programming every day. We anticipate the number of primary partner schools available to work with will increase from 5 to 10, allowing SQB to serve a wider scope of young people in the city. 
  • Community Partnerships: The facility brings SQB much closer to a variety of existing and potential new partners in Lawrence and will increase opportunities for collaboration with these groups, especially those located on nearby Island Street and Everett Mills.
  • Summer Programming: Consistent access to courts and classrooms will allow SquashBusters to offer more robust summer programming. The new Center will allow SQB to offer four weeks of summer programming, twice as much as is currently offered. In addition, we will be able to partner with world class squash programs and other organizations in the city to bring resources into our facility and enrich the experience of the students. 

The SquashBusters Center will be transformational for the Lawrence program. It will allow SQB to offer higher quality programming to more students than have ever been served before. In addition to the elevated quality and quantity of squash opportunities, academic enrichment, and post-secondary support, SQB will partner more meaningfully with other organizations in the city to ensure our students are exposed to the widest variety of experiences possible during their time in the program. 

Community Impact 

The SquashBusters Center will also allow SQB to engage with the local community in new and innovative ways. There will be significant windows of time when the building is not used by the SquashBusters program and can be employed to the benefit of the residents of Lawrence, both through programs run by SquashBusters and in partnership with organizations serving the community. We are eager to maximize the utilization of the SquashBusters Center when it is not being used for our youth development programs to help meet these needs and we anticipate having a positive impact on the community through: 

  • Adult Education: Many adult education classes occur in spaces identical to those in our new facility and are scheduled primarily during the hours when our space will available. Classes offered by these organizations include English Language Learning, Citizenship Exam Preparation and more. 
  • Job Training: Similarly, a number of organizations offer job training to give residents of Lawrence the resources and experience needed to find gainful employment. Such training will also occur in our classrooms outside of SQB programming, and include Nursing Assistant, Early Childhood Care, and Paraprofessional Training. 
  • Community Workspace: During the pandemic we saw how difficult it was for our students and families to find quiet spaces with strong internet access to work or attend school remotely. We anticipate offering one classroom in the new facility to be utilized as a co-working space for our alumni, families and tenants of Island Parkside. There is also the potential for partnership with alternative education programs to provide quiet, functional study spaces for remote students. 
  • Community Squash: SquashBusters plans to leverage our squash courts, gym space, and locker rooms to launch a community squash program. Intended to serve squash players in the Merrimack Valley, we will create a multicultural and multigenerational community in our facility, with a particular focus on familiarizing Lawrence residents with the sport and facilitating access to membership regardless of socioeconomic standing. We will also create space for regular open houses where we invite different groups from throughout the city into our facility to try the sport and learn more about the Center. 
  • School Enrichment: The Center can also be used for school-day enrichment or gym classes for public schools which do not have access to their own recreational spaces, thereby increasing the number of young people benefitting from our facility and accessing meaningful health and wellness programming. 
  • Community Events: The facility has the potential to be a great venue for events for SquashBusters and other organizations from throughout Lawrence. Our own special events will be drastically more accessible to the community and in some cases, as with our annual MashUp, expose folks to world class squash. We will also be able to regularly host our own potlucks, family dinners, and other celebrations. Our hope is that the building will also serve as a site for partner organizations to host their own celebrations and events. 
  • Tenant Access: It is our intent that SquashBusters is a protagonist within the Island Parkside community, proactively ensuring that residents of the affordable housing on the site are utilizing the resources available in the building. These include access to the gym, community squash memberships, usage of potential co-working space, and access to SquashBusters programming for middle and high school aged students. 
  • Employment: SquashBusters will employ members of the Lawrence community in the SquashBusters Center. We will utilize our network within the city to ensure we are providing gainful employment to residents of the city at a living wage and that the folks working at the Center are dedicated to the community we are serving. 

Taken together, all these initiatives will allow SquashBusters to dramatically increase the depth and breadth of our impact in the city of Lawrence, well beyond youth development. Through strategic partnerships and usage of the spaces in the facility, residents of the city will have the ability to be part of a meaningful community and access valuable resources on mornings, nights, and weekends at the New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center. We believe the SquashBusters Center will be a game-changer for the city of Lawrence, providing programming and opportunities to support citizens at every stage of life. 




2019 MashUp Enjoys Best-Ever Success for SquashBusters Lawrence


Now in its seventh year, the 2019 SquashBusters MashUp presented by Anbaric raised a record setting total of $420,000 on Sunday, December 8, thanks to the incredible generosity of over 700 squash-friendly supporters in the Merrimack Valley, Boston and New England and corporate sponsors Brown Brothers Harriman, Floyd Advisory, Newmark Knight Frank, Westfield Capital Management, Bank of New England, Ipswich Bay Glass, Plymouth REIT, and Uberdoc. The event comes at an important juncture, as SquashBusters Lawrence is on the verge of breaking ground on a permanent home in partnership with Merrimack College.

The 2019 MashUp enjoyed two flights of platform tennis once again at North Andover Country Club, and a full afternoon of squash, hospitality, and presentations for the first time at the beautiful new, 12-court Palfrey Pavilion in the Snyder Center at Phillips Academy Andover. Special thanks goes out to the Karlen family for encouraging Andover to host the MashUp and to Doug Burbank and Brooks School for being gracious hosts for the past six fabulous years.


More than 150 players, guests, sponsors and friends filled the venues. The crowd was treated to a moving set of remarks by SQB Lawrence senior Arianny Acosta, who has applied early to Yale University. This poised, energetic and well-spoken young woman bowled over the packed audience with her remarks, insight, and humor.  Over at the platform tennis courts, an equally inspiring story was shared by Leo Mirabal, who is hoping to enroll at Merrimack in the fall.

All four 18-player teams that convened for the celebration and friendly competition were led by an elite squash pro and two platform pros. Seven amateurs, Brooks and PA students and SQB students rounded out the teams.

USA No. 1 squash player Todd Harrity and paddle stars Johan du Randt and Bill Power headed captain Jon Karlen’s Andover Academics.

Current New Zealand No. 2 squash star Campbell Grayson, and paddle pros Ramon Rodriguez and Tim Stonecipher led captain Bruce Landay’s and Bill Paine’s Merrimack Volley.

American squash star Chris Hanson, currently No. 65 on the PSA World Tour, and paddle pros Leo Power and Scott Staniar helmed captain Henry White’s Essex County Nicks.

Arthur Gaskin, Ireland No. 1 and head pro at Nicol Squash Club at SQB Providence, and paddle pros Admire Mushonga and Scott Slobin took the reins of captain John Manning’s Lawrence Legion.


After two waves of brisk platform tennis and three hours of spirited squash, four-time champions Andover Academics retained the podium with a convincing 50 point score, outdistancing second-place finisher Essex County Nicks by a whopping 17 points.  Kiwi Campbell Grayson defeated American Chris Hanson in the Pro final 2-0.

After bestowing the 2019 Golden Mill award for a top team fundraising total of $89,000 to Volley Captains Landay and Paine, SquashBusters Founder and Executive Director Greg Zaff concluded the day by reminding guests and players about the value of saying “yes”.  “We ask,” he said, “But you don’t have to say yes…and many don’t.  But we are here and moving forward because so many of you do.  Thank you.”

To see more photos of the day, visit our Flickr album.

A Busy Fall at SQB Lawrence

SQB Class of 2026 Is Almost Here

The recruitment process started in early September, when SquashBusters staff introduced themselves and the game of squash to over 200 students at the Arlington and Wetherbee Middle Schools during gym class. Since then, the group has been narrowed to 21 committed and enthusiastic students. They have all been attending practices at Brooks School twice a week with the goal of becoming full time members of the SQB team. We’re looking forward to final decisions being announced just before winter break at our 6th grade potluck event to welcome our newest members to the team!

In addition to the typical middle school recruitment process, twelve high school students from Notre Dame Cristo Rey have been working hard on court and in the classroom in a bid to join the program. These additional students have helped to further reinforce growing ties between SquashBusters and Notre Dame, one of our strongest partner schools. We’re thrilled to be able to welcome more students on the high school team and eager to integrate their strengths into our already thriving program!

SQB in the Community

SquashBusters Lawrence has been all around the city this fall, participating in five different community service projects during the first few months of programming. Middle-schoolers took advantage of the nice weather at the beginning of the year to help pick vegetables at Costello Park, an urban farm that provides fresh produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Students remarked that they enjoyed “getting their hands dirty” and were thrilled to be able to take some of the vegetables home with them.

Another project of note was the Spicket River Clean Up – a full program effort in which 60 students volunteered to help keep the local waterway clean. Not only was this an opportunity to help make an impact in our own community, but also a chance to get nearly the full team together to kick off another great year at SQB. The day was a resounding success and many left excited to find more opportunities to keep the city looking beautiful!

Squash Season Begins

Two regional Squash and Education Alliance (SEA) tournaments served as highlights for our fall squash calendar. The SEA Northeast Regionals, hosted at Yale University, was a tremendous opportunity for players to compete against some of the very best players in New England. The high school boys and girls teams both competed in the A draw. Though neither team walked away from the weekend with a victory, they were thrilled to be part of the tournament. Several players did secure a individual victories. The middle school teams enjoyed a little more success, with the middle school boys being denied first place in their division only by their teammates from Providence.

The second tournament, hosted by Capitol Squash at Trinity College, was an opportunity for many of our youngest players to take part in their first big tournament. An intrepid crew of 10 seventh graders traveled to Connecticut to compete in the Middle School Northeast Team Regional tournament. The students again competed hard and were thrilled to be able to enjoy a day with teammates from the other two SquashBusters sites and to be able make new friends from other Urban Squash programs from across the region. These two tournaments undoubtedly gave our students the experience and confidence to find success in the upcoming months to come!