Nearly a month has passed since my girlfriend Jessica and I reluctantly boarded the shuttle to Honolulu Airport, for our long trip back to Boston. The 20-30 degree days here in New England have thickened my blood, and the withdrawal symptoms have begun to fade, but the fond memories of this amazing lacrosse event, compiled with those of years past, have only added to my love for the beautiful place that is Hawaii.
In my three years at the tournament with Wimmer, our Elite and Master’s teams have combined to produce an impressive 30-0 record over increasingly talented teams. While I never personally faced the Crease Monkeys in the Elite Division, the rivalry that has started with Dirty Lax has produced some of the most competitive and hard fought battles I’ve ever seen from the field or the stands. It has been a pleasure to run both with and against some of the greatest to play ever our game… names like Gait, Seibald, Dixon, Sweeney, Rabil, Hartzell, Martin, to name just a few.
Beyond winning, beyond the perfect weather, beyond the food, drink, and Aloha attitude, there is the humbling sense of pride and teamwork, and hopefully accomplishment, that goes into our yearly mission with Wimmer Solutions. The needs of the causes we support year to year provide an extra boost for us, and we know that they exist long after the last stateside lacrosse player to leave the island boards his flight.
This year our wins in both the Elite and Masters divisions will award money to the following charities:
New Beginnings, a shelter for battered women and their children.
Camp Erin, a camp that provides hope and healing to children who have lost parents in active duty.
Wimmer also set up college funds for the children of St. Mary’s College legend Jim “Grimace” Krause. Megan and Sarah Krause lost their father following the alumni game at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in early October. Krause coached Wimmer CEO Matt Sauri and is among St. Mary’s all-time scoring leaders.
This particular cause spoke to me in particular because in 2012, Matt generously set up college funds for T-Moe and Eliza Hellier, two high school lacrosse players who participated in my Maine Premier Lacrosse league for several years. Their father, Ted, recently passed after a courageous battle with cancer that spread through his entire body. But he was alive to receive these gifts from Wimmer, and to visit with me at his home where he deeply expressed his gratitude for what we had all done.
This past year, I approached Matt to ask if I could share the Ted Hellier story with our teams at our dinner on Saturday night. I was proud to share an example of how our success on the lacrosse field translated to positive change in the lives of a family. Care Creates Community was a subject that headlined my story to open for our introductions to this year’s causes.
I let the rookies know how I felt three years ago before the championships, and how I felt after scrapping for that first win over Dirty Lacrosse. If they didn’t know then, they certainly know by now. To whatever degree my speech helped, I was honored to deliver my message and to be received by Matt with a big five and a hug. We all like to make our family proud.
Every year this community extends its reach, we help more people, and hopefully, we can inspire others to do the same. You don’t have to play for Wimmer to be a part of the Wimmer family. Thanks for reading about my Hawaiian adventures. Enjoy the pics and hope to see you on the island next year.
Mahalo and Happy Holidays!
To donate to the college fund set up for Jim’s daughters, please mail checks to Anne Krause, Wells Fargo Advisors, Attn: Robyn Rose, P.O. Box 9013, Jenkintown, PA 19046. To donate to Camp Erin or New Beginnings, please click the links above.