AP NEWS

Scoring One for the Community

May 6, 2019

This is the latest in The Sun’s “Be a Volunteer” series.

By Prudence Brighton

Sun Correspondent

TYNGSBORO -- Twenty teenage boys carrying rakes, leaf blowers and pruning shears descended on a Norris Road property on a recent Saturday afternoon. They came as volunteers to help the owner with spring yard cleanup.

The boys, all varsity or junior varsity lacrosse players, wanted to give back to the community. Their coach, Dan Joyce, joined in doing the work.

The house is actually vacant now. One of the owners died and the other is in a nursing home, so the team asked that the name of the owner and the address of the house not be disclosed.

Most of the teens seemed to be working in the backyard where a rusted swing set gave evidence of happier times on the property. Joyce walked the property answering questions and pitching in.

Joyce, who lives in Acton, is the new Tyngsboro High School lacrosse coach. He coached the sport in other communities, including the Bromfield School in Harvard. He thought he’d retired, but was persuaded to take the Tyngsboro position.

When his other teams played Tyngsboro, he was impressed with the quality of the squads the town fielded. Under his watch, the Tigers have had a “really great season.” The Tigers have a 7-1 record.

The lacrosse players started their day with a fundraising endeavor. In the morning, they cleared the yards at four Tyngsboro homes whose owners paid $200 each for the work.

“We put up a sign in the school with tear-off tabs offering our services,” Joyce said. They raised $800 for the team. “It’s inexpensive for the owners. And it saves parents from handing out checks all the time,” he added.

The afternoon activity was to help the boys learn to be “thankful for what they have,” Joyce said. He organized similar days in the past -- a morning of yard cleanups to raise funds for the team, an afternoon of doing yard work for someone in need, and a cookout in the evening.

“This helps with team bonding,” he said.

The team seemed to enjoy what they were doing, despite the cold and damp weather.

“This is a good thing our team is doing,” said team member Cameron Dick. He was especially looking forward to getting together with the team for the cookout.

Another team member, Panth Patel said, “I’m feeling very good about this. It’s a great event and we get to help someone out.”