Lax for Life

The Big Red (bald) lacrosse team celebrates a donation to Boston Children’s Hospital.

When political science major and lacrosse player Chris Broderick ’20 saw an opportunity to help raise some money for Boston Children’s Hospital, he was ready to give an assist.

His childhood friend Tommy Hale at Brown University had kicked off a fundraiser, called “Lacrosse for Life,” and invited Broderick to join in the cause. Lax for Life recruits college lax-ers to shave their heads in exchange for a $1,000 donation (from anonymous donors) to the venerable Boston hospital.

“I had no idea that Tommy would take our group chat of 8 college lacrosse players and turn it into a charity event that involved approximately 100 college organizations and raise over $2 million for Boston Children’s Hospital. All I knew was that Tommy was taking the initiative to lead a philanthropic charge, so we wanted to be part of it.”

Broderick became the Big Red arm of the project. He ended up recruiting 100% of Denison’s lax athletes. And the effort didn’t stop with the players. Coaches Joel Zalesky, Max Wagner, and Adam Stewart along with managers Enrique Rodriguez and Andrew Staley took their turn under the razor — and wearing hats on cold mornings.

“Going into senior year, you begin to gain perspective on what you and your teammates’ legacy might be,” says Broderick, who was excited to make an impact both on and off the field. “For the other guys in the locker room to be willing to shave their heads with little to no connection to Boston Children’s Hospital says a lot about the quality of people we have on our roster.”

“Going into senior year, you begin to gain perspective on what you and your teammates’ legacy might be.”

While the cause was serious, everyone had a little fun along the way, too. “Our team participated in a blood drive this fall and it turned out that a lot more guys were more terrified of a razor than a needle, so watching a couple of guys hold back tears as years of carefully groomed hair fell to the ground was definitely a highlight for the rest of us,” says Broderick.

It turns out Lax for Life opened the door to share some personal stories as well. “A number of guys on the team were nice enough to share texts of appreciation and support they received from friends and family that often involved stories of personal hardship or experiences with BCH directly. I didn’t expect to receive those stories but I will remember them long after my lacrosse career ends.”

Ultimately, it was a moment of pride and brotherly love.“I have been fortunate enough to play in some big games throughout my career here at Denison, but I have never been more proud to be part of Denison lacrosse than I was walking out to the field that Sunday with my 51 other bald brothers.”

November 11, 2020