Men’s lacrosse team spends downtime uplifting others on service trip
by Bill Sulon
February 9, 2010
The men’s lacrosse team spent part of winter break building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Franklin, W.Va. Service trips have been a preseason tradition since 2005.
In a traditional ritual of building and bonding, the men’s lacrosse team devoted part of its winter break to a service trip in an impoverished area of Franklin, W.Va., where 45 players and three coaches worked with Habitat for Humanity to construct houses for the needy.
“The reason for doing this trip was to not only help out a community in need but also to open our eyes up to appreciate the little things in life,” said co-captain Richard “Ted” Sirvaitis ’10, a policy-management major from Greenwich, Conn. “By sacrificing our time to complete something extraordinary for someone else, it only makes us, as a team, wonder what we can accomplish in season by making that sacrifice for ourselves. It also opens up a different forum for kids on the team to become leaders who may not play as much or may be quiet on the field.”
During the Jan. 17-22 trip, the team built sections of walls for one house and added a floor to another. Some players cut floorboards and built a staircase and railing, while others installed windows and support beams.
Hard work for a great cause
The teammates stayed at a farm in the mountains, where they were disconnected from the modern-day conveniences and distractions of television and Internet and cell-phone service.
“This was a great trip,” said co-captain Al Golod ’10, a political-science major from Huntington, N.Y. “It was hard work but was for a great cause. We were really able to bond as a team and focus on our task at hand. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and a great learning opportunity.”
Helping others is a key component of the team’s preseason schedule. Since 2005, the team has gone on service trips during winter or spring breaks—whether to New Orleans to clean up after Hurricane Katrina or Albuquerque, N.M., to help Native Americans build a walking path and learn the rules of modern-day lacrosse.
Helping at home
The men regularly perform charity work in the Carlisle area, as well. During the last four years, the team’s 24-hour volleyball marathon, held every fall, has raised more than $20,000 for the local Red Cross. They also spend a day each fall cleaning and repairing local sections of the Appalachian Trail.
“Our goals are to make a difference, and we look for these qualities in our recruits,” head coach Dave Webster ’88 said. “This program has made a commitment to service and to making a difference, and this was an integral part of the process.”
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