Originally Published: December 6, 2006 4 a.m.
In life, 62-year-old Andy Boquet loved playing racquetball.
Sick with Parkinson's Disease, he spent much of his time at the Prescott Racquet Club to slow the effects of the disorder. Then on Oct. 18, Boquet died in a plane crash 16 miles north of the Prescott airport.
His former racquet club wants people to remember Boquet while donating to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation through participation in a tournament on Saturday.
"He was one of the very regular members who played racquetball here," said the club's assistant manager, Jeremy Nelms. "He used racquetball the game itself to fight off Parkinson's and that's something that has been researched to help control the neurological and muscular degeneration that happens Š exercise helps with that. So he spent a lot of time playing racquetball here."
Boquet got his start in aviation in the Marine Corps and later worked as a commercial pilot for 23 years before retiring in 2004. But he continued his passion for flying and on that fateful day, took off in a twin-engine, turbo-prop Piper Cheyenne on a flight to take pictures of a MiG-21.
Fellow Prescott residents William "Billy" Friedman, 40, Donald Morris, 63, and Joshua Vaughan, 37, also died in the accident.
The club dubbed Saturday's event as the Andy Boquet Memorial Racquetball Tournament. It begins at 8 a.m., and everyone is welcome to participate. The tournament will include both singles and doubles competition with men's and women's divisions.
"You don't have to be a club member, we're inviting anyone to come out," he said. "Or, if people just want to donate, that would be great as well. They can do that through the Prescott Racquet Club."
Nelms said 100 percent of the $15 registration fee would be donated to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.
"We did some research and found out that this foundation is the highest rated as far as physical management of the funds," Nelms said.
Nelms was referring to a rating from Charity Navigator, an independent firm that evaluates the fiscal responsibility of charitable organizations.
As of Monday, Nelms said there was already an indication of a good turnout but hoped many more would sign up this week. Nelms hopes to see several members of Prescott's Territorial Fitness Club compete.
To sign up or to make a donation, call the Prescott Racquet Club at 778-0708. The club is located off Iron Springs Road in the Kingswood subdivision.