By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/13/09
That philosophy has led Dugan to become a leader in community service in the Scranton area, and well beyond. And his players, many of which come from the Philadelphia area, are happy to follow.
This fall the Royals raised nearly $5,000 for their “Christmas in Uganda” fund-raising project. The funds go to a program in conjunction with the “Fields of Growth International,” a non-profit organization founded by Dugan. This program sponsors community development projects at a resettlement area in southwest Uganda in Africa.
Dugan recently left to spend much of December and his Christmas in Uganda where he will attend a conference on social entrepreneurism, teach AIDS and malaria prevention, and work on life skills and women’s rights awareness through athletics to underdeveloped countries.
Dugan also is introducing the sport of lacrosse to youngsters while dedicating a lacrosse field.
Dugan has long been involved in community service – and so have his players. Dugan founded the non-profit Scranton Youth Lacrosse Association, and team members serve as coaches. His players also deliver coffee and donuts to underprivileged people at area food kitchens.
The players raised the nearly $5,000 for the Christmas in Uganda program by selling t-shirts and taking donations.
“We know he teaches us a lot, not only about lacrosse, but about being a good person,” said Scranton junior attackman Sean Coleman, a Roman Catholic graduate and one of 13 Philly players on the team. “It’s more about life lessons.”
Stephen Bruestle, a junior defenseman from Archbishop Wood, said Dugan has invited players to come with him to Uganda in late January.
“He put the invite to all of us,” said Bruestle, who like Coleman was a Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll pick in 2009. “Everyone is real excited about the program. They want to make as much a difference as they can. And other schools like Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame are getting plugged in, too. Everyone supports it a lot.”
Dugan, entering his fourth year as head coach at Scranton, graduated from Notre Dame.
“This project has enabled our team to really live out the spirit of the mission of Jesuit education; to share your passion and gifts with others,” Dugan said. “This is about a lot more then lacrosse, but tying the game of lacrosse into the community develop aspects of Fields of Growth makes it fun for our players to support the project.
“I am so grateful to parents, alumni and friends of the Scranton lacrosse program that have supported this project, and I think they enjoy the real tangible, physical impact there donations are going to have.”
Said freshman goalie Ben Worthington, an Archbishop Wood grad: “He likes helping people. I think it’s good helping less fortunate people and doing what we can to help.”
Other Philly players at Scranton include: freshmen Taylor Nelson (Downingtown East), Dom Nappi (Malvern Prep) and Zach Zappala (Germantown Academy), and sophomores Mike Rufo (Haverford School), Matt Glenn (Central Bucks East), Matt Dachowski (Central Bucks South), Colin McPoyle (Central Bucks South), Brett Greer (Ridley), John McShea (St. Joseph’s Prep) and Daniel Slade (Central Bucks East),
Scranton also was involved in raising money for the HEADstrong Foundation and its fight to increase awareness and funds for the fight against blood cancer this year. They sold HEADstrong t-shirts and participated in the Third Annual Nick Colleluori Classic in October at Ridley High.
Donations from $10 to $600 dollars are currently being accepted by the Royals’ lacrosse team at the following web address: www.firstgiving.com/scrantonlacrosse
Donors can choose from six levels to assist this cause. Donations may also be mailed to the University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team, 800 Linden Street, Scranton, Pa. 18510.
Picture courtesy of the University of Scranton.