The ongoing manhunt for a suspect in this week’s fatal shooting of a Somerset County sheriff’s deputy has prompted a change in location for Saturday night’s pro-am boxing card in Skowhegan.
The show, originally scheduled to be held at the Skowhegan Community Center, has been moved to nearby Skowhegan Area High School because the community center is being used as a staging area in the search for John Daniel Williams, 29, of Madison.
Williams is wanted in connection with the death early Wednesday morning of Cpl. Eugene Cole in neighboring Norridgewock.
Brandon Berry of West Forks, who not only is promoting the boxing show but fighting in the main event, learned early Thursday that the community center would be unavailable for his event.
He began exploring potential alternate locations and also met with Denise LeBlanc, director of the Skowhegan Parks and Recreation Department that operates the community center.
“Denise was already a few steps ahead of me,” said Berry. “She was on top of it looking to see if they could find a place to do this.”
Berry said he got approval Friday morning to use the high school gymnasium.
“It couldn’t have been relocated to a better place because it’s literally next door, it’s a beautiful facility, the parking is amazing and it actually seats more people,” Berry said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
The boxing show, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, is scheduled to include four professional bouts and 10 amateur contests.
Berry said he’s appreciative of all the community support he’s received in saving the fight card after the community center was no longer available.
“This little event is so meaningless right now compared to what’s going on in town, but yet I still wasn’t put on the back burner. They still made it work,” he said. “Without the help of Denise and the staff at the community center I don’t know if any of this would be happening so I owe them a big, big thank you.”
Berry is inviting area law enforcement personnel to attend the boxing show free of change.
“If anybody’s on a bit of a rest time and wants to get out and enjoy themselves for a couple of hours, I would love to host anybody that is able to come,” he said. “I just feel like they’re helping us so much and I know the town is helping me keep this event going. I’m so thankful.”