Anywhere the mascots of Boston’s sports teams are, Boomer the Cannon is right there with them. And when it comes to charity events, Boomer is not the only one there – he is usually joined by a Boston Cannons coach, player or front office staff member as well.
The Cannons have made their mark throughout the Greater Boston community via their charity work. At their inception, it was a way to get the word out about the new professional lacrosse team in the area. As their popularity grew, they could have easily taken their foot off the gas pedal and not have been as involved in community service. But the Cannons did the exact opposite: they became even more involved.
“I think everything we do starts with Rob Hale and Ian Frenette,” said four-year Boston head coach Sean Quirk on his club’s majority owner and president, respectively. “That trickles down through the front office, coaches and team. We are really passionate about helping others.”
Giving back to the community takes many forms for the Cannons. They are especially focused on hosting youth clinics, both during theseason and throughout the offseason, to build off the sport’s growing popularity in the area. Just this fall alone, the Cannons have offered clinics with players John Uppgren, Cam Bell and Trevor Baptiste. They have partnered with United Women’s Lacrosse to provide clinics for girls as well.
Growing the next generation of players is one of the Cannons’ goals, but so is growing the next generation of media members. The team’s Bruce Lerch Junior Journalist Program, which is named after the late
Boston Herald reporter who championed lacrosse at all levels, provides valuable opportunities for high school and college students to get valuable media experience every season. The level of lacrosse Lerch especially loved, high school, is well represented in the team’s high school matchups, which allow high school teams to play prior to select Cannons home games.
The Cannons have become especially close with Boston Children’s Hospital. Players, coaches and staff members volunteer at the nationally renowned medical center’s telethons, raise funds at its annual fall Golf Tournament, and visit its patients. The involvement with Boston Children’s has become some of the most meaningful work - both on and off the field -- that the Cannons do.
“It means a lot to go to Children’s Hospital to visit children who are in there for whatever reason,” said Quirk. “Just to see the smiles on those kids’ faces - the most rewarding part is seeing their smiles.”
The Cannons also support Harlem Lacrosse’s Boston branch, hosting the youth lacrosse program for clinics and tournaments in conjunction with many of the college programs in the Boston area. Associate head coach Dom Starsia has been very involved with the non-profit outreach program for several years, and making sure the Cannons become intertwined with its Boston arm is one of his priorities. The team has provided the youth players with program equipment and team goodies to encourage their continued interest in the sport.
From long-term programs to one-time events, the Boston Cannons have set a high standard for professional team outreach in New England.
“It’s about giving back to the community, but it’s also about giving back to our fans who support us so much,” said Quirk.