By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/30/09
Normally, having an extra man in boys’ lacrosse means a man-up opportunity and a good chance to score a goal.
This year the CB East players have made a commitment to participate in community service projects. Six members of the team took a leadership role and created a website called www.extramanopportunity.org and invite members of the varsity and JV squads to help out in each project.
So far this year the team has been involved in four projects and every member of the team has participated in at least one of them. For their efforts, the Patriots have been named the Phillylacrosse.com Team of the Week.
The six players who are leading the community service drive are Tom Bashwiner, Alex Fetterman, Brian Urban, Zack Sharman, Bill Schwartz and Conor McSherry. Bashwiner, a senior, said CB East has always committed to community service because coach Rich Garcia is a major supporter of service projects.
Then, after several members of the East team traveled to Iowa during the summer to help rebuild homes for victims of the floods, the six players committed to creating the non-profit organization.
“In September we decided to get together and make an organization so it would be easier to get the team involved in community service,” said Bashwiner, who also has helped the Pats to an 11-2 start this season and a ranking of No. 9 in the PA media Rankings for PIAA schools. “This helped bring some of projects together in a more organized fashion.
“Coach Garcia put the ideas on the table and we put together a business plan and came up with the name. It’s a little tough with school and lacrosse, but different people go to different projects if they have the time.”
So far, the Extra Man Opportinity club has raked leaves for cancer victims at the Breathing Room Foundation, has made birdhouses for the Bucks County Audubon Society, has refurbished equipment for Habitat Restore and helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity and those who have trouble affording their own dwellings.
Bashwiner, a three-year letterman who starts on defense and is considering Villanova University, said the payback from doing community service is intrinsic.
“For me, it’s just a way to give back to the community,” he said. “For others, it may be something to help build a resume for college.”
Fetterman, a junior, said he was motivated to give back to the community when he saw the devastation of the flood victims in Iowa.
“It all started with coach Garcia and he thought he should get the kids involved,” Fetterman said. “He sent an e-mail to the lacrosse team saying he wanted to take us out to work hands-on and help victims.
“We got 12 people in all – a mixture of kids and parents and we went to work for four days. We basically gave 10- to 12-hour workdays. We had to take all the materials out of the houses and clean the mud and debris.
“The walls had to be torn off and the floorboards had to be redone. Anything that was touched by water had to be replaced. We got five houses done; it was a pretty amazing thing. To think that was somebody’s house… it was a crazy experience.
“Nobody assumes that it could happen to anybody. I learned a lot about giving back to the community. When I got back I wanted to do more and get back out and help more people,.”
Fetterman said doing this type of service helps him appreciate what he has.
“You get to work with a whole different type of people who are less fortunate,” he said “We do get to learn a lot. I’ve gotten to use tools I would have never used and techniques for demolishing and then building a house.
“Not many people get to give back like we do. When you do this, you realize there are people less fortunate and it’s nice to be a part of helping other people to do well in life.
“I just have a whole new outlook on life – just realizing that we have it pretty darn good.”
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Tags: Central Bucks East