Patriot Point thanks the senior members of the Gonzaga College High School lacrosse team for spending their day off from school for Veterans Day volunteering at Patriot Point. The group arrived in the morning and spent several hours moving boxes, clearing brush and other chores to help improve the property.
The visit was Coach Casey O’Neill’s idea after he participated in the 2018 DC Touchdown Club True Heroes Golf Tournament benefiting Patriot Point.
“I was sitting there at the event, making small talk and looking at what Patriot Point is,” O’Neill said, noting that in the past his teams have sent packages to service members abroad and done volunteer work with Children’s Hospital. “I told [Patriot Point founding partner] Stuart [Plank] and [Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director] Steve [Beck] that I would love to bring the team to Patriot Point. I don’t know if they thought I was serious or just making small talk, but I followed up with Steve.”
The trip was an eye-opener, O’Neill said, noting that in addition to doing work at Patriot Point, his players had the opportunity to tour the property and meet Gold Star families who were visiting.
“I can’t say it enough, the boys loved it,” O’Neill said. “They were tired when they got home. But one dad reached out to me and said, ‘My son doesn’t ever talk around the dinner table, but he couldn’t stop talking about his day.’ It was really neat to see first-hand exactly what Patriot Point is and how special it is.