April 21, 2014
WASHINGTON - On Thursday afternoon goalie Jake Haley (Grasonville, Md./Queen Anne's County) and midfielder John Wujciak (Essex Fells, N.J./Delbarton) organized a group of 20 members of the Georgetown University men's lacrosse team through the Hoya Dreams program to visit the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Georgetown Hospital and take part in an Easter Egg Hunt.
The men's lacrosse student-athletes hid over 200 Easter Eggs filled with candy around the pediatric ward, then each member of the team paired with a patient to help find the eggs over the course of the afternoon.
"We got a big group up there and it turned out really well," Haley said. "We enjoyed it just as much as the kids up there enjoyed it."
The Hoya Dreams program, created in 2006 by men's lacrosse alum Rob Lemos, was founded with the mission of improving the lives of the sick children of the Georgetown community, by visiting with the children and providing motiviation in their recovery. It is a similar mission carried out by the lacrosse program since the early 1990's when the pediatric patients at the hospital were able to watch practice on Kehoe Field from their rooms.
More recently Hoya Dreams has been led by Adam Donahue and Henry Van Wagenberg in 2012, Brian Casey and Patrick Murray in 2013 and Haley and Wujciak this season. While the children can no longer watch practice from their rooms, the bond is still strong. But as has always been the case, the children provide as much a lift to the team, as the team provides to the children.
"When you get caught up in the routine of lacrosse every day you can lose perspective on the bigger picture," Knarr said. "Having the opportunity to go to Georgetown Hospital and spend time with these kids, who are all facing really tough situations puts a whole new perspective on everything and I think it's good for all of us."
"The fact that all of the kids are still running around smiling makes me feel like I have no excuse but to smile," Haley said.
"It puts everything in perspective," Wujciak said. "These kids are so strong to be able to deal with everything that they are going through. To see them overcome everything, seeing it definitely gives you strength," John Wujciak said.
Haley and Wujciak still get feedback from former Hoyas who remember the spent time giving back through the Hoya Dreams program, receiving positive messages from Donahue following Thursday's Easter Egg hunt.
"We're a link in a long chain of a bunch of guys setting a precedent long before us and hopefully a long time after us," Wujciak said.