Vs. Cancer and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation are thrilled to welcome Tom Carmean to the team! With more than 25 years of lacrosse coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional level, Tom is an exciting addition.
Most recently, Tom was the head men’s lacrosse coach at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. As the winningest coach in Guilford Lacrosse history, Tom selected Vs. Cancer as his team’s charity of choice and hosted a successful fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Brenner Children’s Hospital during the 2018 season.
We’re guessing your question is: “What about Vs. Cancer made Carmean jump from a successful lacrosse coaching career, to joining the fight against pediatric cancer?” We’ll let him tell you…
Now that you are working with Vs. Cancer full-time, what are you most excited about?
“I’m most excited about talking to coaches and student/athletes about the impact that they can have on this cause. As a college coach, I know that most athletic teams understand the importance of developing community service into their programs. I look forward to helping more programs work with Vs. Cancer in the upcoming year.”
What was it about Vs. Cancer that made you select them as your team’s charity of choice?
“Two things that led to our choice. It was clear that half the money we would raise was going to research and the other half to a local children’s hospital, where we could visit with some of our players. Having both those ideas in play was important because the only way real advancements in research are achieved is with non-profit funding and, in a more hands on way, I saw the experience of visiting the children at Brenner’s (our local hospital) as something that would have a lasting impact. Secondly, because it was during our spring lacrosse season, and both players and coaches were stretched a little thin timewise, I thought that the system that Vs. Cancer uses was easy for our team to work with.”
What do you feel you and your team got out of the Vs. Cancer fundraising efforts?
“We joined up with our women’s lacrosse program and had a bit of a fundraising competition. It allowed us a chance to work with their team in a really positive way. Also, it gave our coaching staff a forum to talk with our players about ideas that are not so focused on the field or the classroom. It provided us with another opportunity to make it clear that being part of a college team is also about creating a culture that genuinely works to give back to the community.”
Would you recommend working with Vs. Cancer to other coaches?
“From a practical point of view, Vs. Cancer was easy to work with and the set-up time for our team to get on board was immediate. Players and coaches could run with it in so many creative directions. We were all over social media. We made sure that our players connected with our administration and faculty, so we could really make this a campus event. So, yes. I would recommend this, and I have decided to make a career change from college coaching to working with this foundation to recommend Vs. Cancer to coaches all over the country!”
Your team visited the hospital you were donating to, what were the main takeaways from that experience?
“Visiting the hospital was really one of the light bulb moments for our players (and the staff). We took about seven players to Brenner Children’s Hospital and spent the afternoon in the playrooms with four or five of the kids who were being treated there. Some of the kids were only three or four years old and were so happy to play with the college students and vice versa, of course. I think it was important for the players and coaches to see the actual impact that their fundraising could have on an individual hospital and the families that need that hospital’s care.”
Interested in getting your lacrosse team involved with Vs. Cancer? Contact Tom directly at Tom@vs-cancer.org or 336-580-3276.
Find out more about Vs. Cancer at www.vs-cancer.org.