AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's lacrosse team has raised more than $52,000 dollars for the EOD Warrior Foundation, which provides financial assistance and support to active-duty and veterans who work to deactivate and dispose explosive devices.
EOD technicians are highly-trained military members serving in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force who are responsible for disarming, rendering safe and disposing bombs. The EOD profession is one of the most dangerous occupations in the military.
The EOD Warrior Foundation offers support in the forms of financial relief, hope and wellness and the maintenance of the EOD Memorial. They also provide morale events, peer-to-peer support, educational programs, connections to resources and sustained contact with EOD warriors and their families.
The hallmark of the Amherst College fundraiser was the eighth annual run through the mountains of Amherst, this year dubbed "Trek for Techs." Earlier in the fall, the members of the men's lacrosse family together ran up and down the "Seven Sisters", a mountain range spanning more than 15 miles, consisting of 14 peaks.
This year's run was made even more special by the addition of three EOD technicians running alongside, including Patrick Maney, who enrolled at Amherst College after his service.
"We couldn't be more proud of the cause our team decided to support this year," said Amherst College head coach Jon Thompson. "With a personal connection to Pat and an enduring connection to our veterans, we're certainly proud to have helped the helpers. We hope that this is the beginning of an ongoing relationship with EOD Warrior Foundation. We have so much respect for what these service people do to make this world a safer place."
"Navy EOD is about striving to be your best no matter what the cost, with the intentions of protecting those around you," said Maney. "The EOD Warrior Foundation is a tremendous foundation that does an amazing job protecting our wounded and the families of our fallen. The men on the Amherst lacrosse team really embraced the EOD mentality, going above and beyond their comfort zones to not only complete the arduous 16 miles but to raise more than $50,000 for the EOD community."
Reaching more than 4,000 feet of vertical elevation over rocky terrain, this year's run began at 9:30 in the morning and lasted seven hours.
"Cramps and pickle juice included, the run was one that the participants will never forget. Thompson said with a laugh. "We ran with three EOD techs, and this will be a memory that the scholar-athletes will have for a lifetime," said Thompson.
Amherst men's lacrosse has raised more than $240,000 for different charities over the past eight years of this run, though topping the $50,000 mark for EOD Warriors is by far the most overwhelming contribution they have been able to present.
"The EOD Warrior Foundation certainly tugged at the heartstrings of our guys, and of the public in general," said Thompson.
"The Trek for Techs was made possible by a truly special group of men supporting a very special community," added Maney. "It was something I am very proud to have been a part of."