March 31, 2004

Don't Pass Up This Opportunity

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Quick — take out your cell or run to a pay phone, call your parents and tell them you love them. You may not get another chance. There may be no tomorrow. There wasn’t for lacrosse captain George Boiardi.

You don’t need to have a friend on the team to have felt the ripple of tragedy that struck Cornell three weeks ago. If there’s one thing that we can all take away from Boiardi’s passing, it’s that life is a precious and fleeting thing. He died in an accident, doing something he loved, something deemed a non-risk activity by Cornell administrators and the NCAA. As morbid as the thought is, it also should be a sobering message to all of us.

Still, it’s not the only thing we can take away from George’s passing. He’s also taught that none of us truly ever have to leave Cornell. As long as his teammates and coaches remember George, and display the fervor and intensity that he would have on the field, Boiardi will always be there, helping the Red like an extra man advantage.

But what happens when this season ends? What happens in four years, when the players who knew George best leave The Hill? What happens when the current coaching staff retires or leaves? Who then will remember George? The answer could be you.

In lieu of flowers, the Boiardi family has asked for donations to endow one of the lacrosse program’s assistant coaching positions. The goal, a seemingly impossible $500,000, can be lessened from your donation. You can help immortalize George Boiardi, and see that his work ethic, passion, and skill never leave the hallowed grounds of Scheollkopf. Your donation can keep him here forever.

Think about it, if just one third of the senior class — George’s class — were to donate $20 each, they could raise nearly $20,000. According to Cornell’s numbers, there are13,725 of us students on campus. If we all donated $20, we would raise $274,500 — more than half of the total goal.

Needless to say, this guy’s check is already in the mail.

Saint George fought dragons, and taught passionately about Christ. Mario St. George Boiardi fought against Tigers, Hoyas, Cavaliers and Orangemen, and passionately taught his teammates about Cornell lacrosse — and it seems only fitting that the Mario St. George Boiardi assistant coach of lacrosse would continue that work.

“I think more than anything, it just associates a teacher of Cornell lacrosse with its program for the remainder of its existence,” said head lacrosse coach Jeff Tambroni. “That’s what I think George was — a teacher, an extremely committed and loyal Cornell lacrosse player, teammate, and for years to come it’s just a great way to remember him.”

So this week, skip ordering that extra pizza from Papa Johns, forget Wednesday’s group therapy at the bars, and instead use what you would have spent to forget your week at Cornell to help remember George Boiardi.

And will you hurry up and call your parents?

Matt Janiga is a former Sun Assistant Sports Editor and has covered the men’s lacrosse team for the past two years. He may be reached by e-mail at thesportsguy@cornell.edu. The No. 12 Bus will appear every other Wednesday this semester.

Archived article by Matt Janiga