Teenager Brady Nickerson of Glenburn was passionate about baseball.

When the 14-year-old died of cancer in May 2019, people who knew the young man formed a foundation in his honor.

Brady Nickerson of Glenburn shows off the championship trophy from a middle school basketball tournament in 2019. Nickerson, who died of cancer in May 2019, is being honored through the Brady Nickerson Foundation, which is raising money to help support local baseball in Greater Bangor. (Credit: Courtesy of the Nickerson family)

The Brady Nickerson Foundation will kick off its matching fundraising program on July 15 at the Sluggers Baseball and Softball Training Facility in Brewer.

The money raised will be used to benefit youth baseball in the Bangor area while honoring the memory of Nickerson, who was an avid Boston Red Sox and New England sports fan.

Karl Ward, the president and CEO of the contracting firm of Nickerson & O’Day Inc., will match donations up to $5,000.

Brandon Portwine, owner of Sluggers and a member of the foundation’s board of directors, said they started talking about forming a foundation right after Nickerson’s funeral. They have raised close to $10,000 already.

Nickerson played several years for Portwine’s Sluggers age-group teams.

Portwine said the money will be used to fix fields, buy equipment and provide scholarships so kids can play for teams like those at Sluggers.

“This was an easy thing to get behind. We’re trying to make something good out of something horrible,” Portwine said.

He said Nickerson was a popular youngster who was passionate about baseball and worked tirelessly at improving himself.

University of Maine baseball coach Nick Derba, who is on the board of directors, had sent a package of UMaine gear to Nickerson when he learned the youngster was fighting the disease. One of his own players, Caleb Kerbs, recently survived testicular cancer.

“This is near and dear to me, personally,” said Derba, who through the foundation has gotten to know Nickerson’s parents, Preston and Angel.

“The best way to honor the passing of someone is by honoring the living,” Derba said. “This will be great for kids in Maine who couldn’t afford to play but will now be able to do so.

“This is what sports is all about,” he said.

Donations can be made through Oct. 31.

More information about the Brady Nickerson Foundation can be found at https://bradynickersonfoundation.wordpress.com.