The concept was pretty simple — for every men’s college lacrosse player who shaved his head by or on March 1, 2020, a $1,000-dollar donation would be made by Lacrosse for Life to the Boston Children's Hospital. It turned out to be the perfect challenge for a group of Saints.
It started with Jack Hennessey ’21, an attackman from Hingham, Massachusetts, whose best friend from home had the idea to start the Lacrosse for Life foundation and asked if Jack could get the St. Lawrence Men’s Lacrosse Team involved.
"I told him absolutely, but was unsure of how many of my teammates would be willing to shave their heads,” he says. "When I first brought the idea up, about 75 percent were all in right away, and the rest were willing to do it once they saw everyone else was."
All 52 members of the nationally-ranked Saints squad participated in the challenge, raising $52,000 dollars and setting a Lacrosse for Life record.
"We are a family and when somebody asks for something, the rest are willing to sacrifice," Jack adds. "I'm not surprised one bit that everyone participated. Everyone was excited to rock a buzz cut together as a family, especially knowing it was for a great cause."
The team took part in the fundraiser just two weeks before the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, was declared a global pandemic, St. Lawrence announced classes would move to remote learning after Spring Break, and the NCAA ended all spring sports seasons, including lacrosse.
"As we collectively face the current uncertainty that each day brings, the players' recent commitment to something bigger than themselves is another example of small sacrifices that can be made to do our part individually for the greater good," said Saints Head Coach Mike Mahoney '93, P'22. "To see our team and many others across college lacrosse come together for this particular cause is something that makes me very proud of these young men."
In total, 91 men's lacrosse teams from all three NCAA divisions and across the country participated in the Lacrosse for Life challenge, and the founders were able to proudly present a final check totaling over $2.1 million dollars to Boston Children’s Hospital.
"I have never been more proud to call myself a member of this specific team and family," Jack says. "The senior leadership from the day they arrived on campus is something that will impact the program for years to come. The relationships and memories created this year are some that I will carry for the rest of my life and for that I will forever be grateful for St. Lawrence."