January 21, 2014
Men’s Lacrosse Team Awarded for Community Service
The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team was recently honored by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with an award of merit as a part of the 2013 NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards. The awards were presented during the NADIIIAA Reception at the NCAA Convention held in San Diego, California on January 18.
Wentworth was a recipient in the "Ongoing Project" category and earned the award for its work with the Friends of Jacyln Foundation. The mission of FOJ is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors and other illnesses and to raise awareness about insidious diseases. FOJ pairs up children and their families with college and high school athletic programs. The teams give these children love, support, and friendship as they fight their devastating disease.
In October 2012 the Leopards adopted nine-year old Thomas Archibald from Weymouth, Mass., as an honorary member of their team. Thomas, who suffers from Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH), has been a regular at Wentworth practices and games over the past year, and, in turn, members of the team have provided much-needed support for Thomas and his family. It is not uncommon to see teammates and/or members of the coaching staff with Thomas as he endures countless treatments (either at home or at the hospital), is attempting to earn a belt at karate class, regularly converse with him – by means of the phone or through video chatting – during the off-season, attend a fundraiser for the NKH Crusaders and, most recently, helping to raise funds to help support Thomas's effort to acquire a VGO Robot for middle school.
"Thomas has continued to inspire our players and staff every moment he is with us," said third-year head coach Dan Russo. "He is an energetic and kind-hearted young boy who continues to amaze us with his strength and resilient spirit. Despite enduring long treatments and screenings, he pushes our players to have that same strength and resilient attitude when faced with adversity. The Archibald Family is a part of our lacrosse family now, and will continue to be throughout each year. We look forward to Thomas's energy and smile once again joining us on the sideline in 2014."
The awards program is co-sponsored by the NADIIIAA and Jostens and is intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities. The NADIIIAA is an association comprised of athletics administrators from the nearly 450 institutions and 43 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level. A primary purpose of the NADIIIAA is to encourage the continued development of athletics programs focused on the student-athlete and based on sound educational philosophy.
- Dennis Nealon