Growing up Jill was surrounded by basketball and humor and her dreams started forming at a very early age, some more traditional for a little girl and others pushed on the gender norms, but true to form, Jill defied the odds and made her dreams a reality. Similar to many other little girls, Jill always envisioned herself as a wife and mother, she always imagined building a home full of love and laughter, but she also dreamed of being in the NBA. And while as a little girl she may have dreamed of throwing on a uniform, as she matured and she realized her strengths and interests, she realized that her dream would still come to life working in the home office for the NBA in NYC.
Jill achieved her professional goals, she made it to the NBA, and then it was time for Jill to dedicate her love and passion to chasing her personal goals of becoming a wife and a mother. In 2008 Jill met, fell in love and started building a life with her soul mate, Joe. They were married in May of 2009 and soon found out they were expecting a bouncing baby boy, putting Jill within reach of her personal dreams.
On April 26, 2010 as Jill was in excruciating pain from internal complications she gave birth to Chase Thomas Hanzalik. Tragically, Chase and Jill died within minutes of each other. It was later determined that Jill passed from stage four undiagnosed colon cancer. She was 33.
Jill was born and raised in Bernardston, Ma. She graduated from Pioneer Valley Regional School in 1994 and then attended University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she graduated in 1998 with a degree in Sports Management. Jill was the daughter and oldest child of Wendy Dubois and Phil Harrington. Her younger brothers Adam and Kevin Harrington also survive her.
Jill will fondly be remembered as a treasured friend and beloved family member. So many people were touched by her kindness, sense of humor, and zest for life. She had a genuine interest in witnessing the success of others and was instrumental in inspiring others to do their best and achieve their dreams.
To honor Chase and Jill, and her love of children, this memorial fund will assist families, individuals and organizations to help their children achieve their dreams.
The Jill E. Harrington Hanzalik Memorial Fund is dedicated to making it possible for young people to accomplish their dreams. Jill was an individual who lived her life upholding the fundamental belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to chase a dream. Jill was a woman who spent her entire life – always dreaming big. As she achieved her dreams, she dedicated her life to motivate and enable those around her to achieve their dreams. With this Fund, we are striving to continue her legacy.
Every child should be given the opportunity to follow his or her dreams. Sometimes that right is hindered by the harsh realities of life, such as financial burdens and lack of guidance or opportunities. By removing these obstacles and providing them with the means to chase and realize their dreams, the Fund aims to elevate youth to becoming contributing members of their community.
Through fundraising initiatives, corporate support and public donations, the Fund will provide financial assistance to young people in areas critical to success including: health, education, life skills and empowerment. Jill believed in living life with passion. Her personal passion was basketball. As such, this Fund also strives to use sports, education and/or the arts as a way to ignite the spark for young people to pursue their dreams.
Jill’s dreams took her across and throughout our great country. She was able to attend college out of state, and later resided in various regions throughout the US, to accomplish her career and life goals. In honor of her legacy, the Fund believes in the importance of inclusion for all young people, regardless of their locale within America.
Our mission is to provide the stepping-stones for young people to chase and achieve their dreams. We aim to provide aid through financial assistance, encouragement, guidance and community outreach.
“We will provide opportunities to kids that will spark interest, hope, and desire for them to continue to chase their dreams.” – Adam P Harrington, Founder