All Star Lacrosse

The Clam Program Gives Back in 2013

With over $5,000 raised for various charities, the Clams were busy giving back this fall.

As nearly every lacrosse player has heard, the game in its original form was deeply spiritual. When I was younger, I heard this plenty of times, though unfortunately I often tuned out as coach after coach began referring to lacrosse as "baggataway", "the creator's game", or began to reference its "sprituality" and "larger meaning". The vast majority of efforts to get young players to grasp the larger meaning of this game we love invariably falls flat more often than not, however hard adults and coaches may try to hammer it home.

As I age, I too am becoming one of those coaches. And I suspect many of the players I'm referring to now won't read this. But if even a few do, and a few do next time, then maybe the larger meaning of this deeply spiritual, meaningful game will gain some traction, however gradually.

As I consider the meaning and how we can apply it to the present-day version of our game, I think there is a far better way than to be yet another aging lacrosse coach preaching to younger players. That better way would be to ensure our organizations' collective actions speak louder than any words I could muster. Ultimately, I thought how better to do so than through charity.

This past Friday night, we were fortunate enough to be invited to play in one of the first ever lacrosse games at Citizens Bank Park (Phillies Stadium). The larger purpose of the evening is to raise money for one specific charity, the study of concussions.

I decided that we should use this event as a platform for anyone to donate to any cause that they chose to be of significant importance to them. In a way, I have always felt that telling a person what charity they have to donate to is a little like telling someone what religion they have to adhere to. Personally, I think the appointed charity of the study of pediatric concussions is amply visible, with attention and funding presently seeing organizations such as the NFL and the U.S. Military giving millions to the cause. In the end, I wanted every participant in Friday's event to be able to think about the charity they gave to as they participated in the evening, and to be sure that charity they chose resonated within every player, and every family.

This fall, the Clams as an organization have raised over $5,000 for 11 different charities across the country, which is the single biggest amount ever raised by our organization in one season. Most of this was raised by participants in Friday night's Charity Game. As you'll see below, we gave to causes as local as the "Get Better Jack Fund", honoring a starting HS quarterback in one our players' towns who was paralyzed from the neck down in a snowborading accident this past February, to charities as far reaching as Global Camps Africa (HIV/AIDS prevention education) and Phillipines Typhoon relief, which is an amount that we plan to see grow in the coming months.

Below is a list of every charity we have given to this fall. We wanted to make sure that we touched on every charity and their mission, as to give you all an idea at the various different places our contributions have gone, and the various causes that mean something to everyone on the field, as well as to our own staff and directors.

We would also like to mention that our families reached out to one of our own longstanding coaches in the Clam program.  When word struck that one of our coaches was in a severe mountain biking accident, our program got together to buy meals for him and his family during his week of surgery and recovery.  We once again thank all of you for your support in Coach OB's recovery; we can't wait to have him back on the field this summer!

Once again we thank all of our families for their support of our charitable endeavors, and in indeed their support of their own causes. Regardless of how often players consider the larger meaning of this game, whether this has even hit home yet, their actions, and the actions of their families are reinforcing the idea that we get it. We are all defined by what we do. And in this case, a lot of people have done a lot of good. Here's to all the good we've done, and hopefully the good we'll do in the months and years ahead in the name of the Clams organization, and more, in the name of the sport we love.

-Coach Walker


Charity Amount Donated Foundation Mission and Website
Barton Center for Diabetes Education $300 Mission Statement: To improve the lives of children with insulin-dependent diabetes through education, recreation, and support programs which inspire and empower. (Barton)
Marine Bio $200 Mission Statement: Marine conservation and science education group working online together to educate the world about ocean lifemarine biologymarine conservation, and to provide a sea ethic that we should all attempt to follow. (Marine Bio)
Lupus Foundation of America $625 Mission Statement: Devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable, and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. (Lupus)
Special Olympics $150 Mission Statement: provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. (Special Olympics)
Lukemia & Lymphoma Society $100 Mission Statement: Is the world's largest voluntary (nonprofit) health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. (LLS)
Philadelphia Children's Hospital $1400 Mission Statement: The oldest hospital in the United States dedicated exclusively to pediatrics, strives to be the world leader in the advancement of healthcare for children by integrating excellent patient care, innovative research and quality professional education into all of its programs. (CHOP)
American Red Cross: Philippines Typhoon Relief $575 Mission Statement: Prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. (Red Cross)
Global Camps Africa $1500 Mission Statement: Providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and training through high-impact residential and day camp experiences and continuing education, equipping young people with the life skills that will support them in becoming safe and productive adults who have hope for the future. (GCA)
Get Better Jack Fund $400 Mission Statement: Provide funding for Tynsboro High School student Jack Trottier in his rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury. (Jack)
Carbonfund.Org $125 Our own contribution through our team bus trip to the Umass Tournament. Mission Statement: Leading the fight against global warming, making it easy and affordable for any individual, business or organization to reduce & offset their climate impact and hasten the transition to a clean energy future. (Carbon)
The Lions Club $500 Mission Statement: To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs. (Lions)


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