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Youth lacrosse player wins faceoffs to defeat cancer

Tyler Collins FaceOff Against Cancer Challenge was a season long fundraiser where he invited family and friends to pledge a donation per faceoff win. Tyler ended up raising more than $3,000 to help those battling cancer through his fundraiser. Our team conducted an interview with Tyler (and Mike Collins, Tyler's dad) to learn more about his fundraising efforts, and why he decided to earn donations for the HEADstrong Foundation.

My Campaign: Tyler Collins FaceOff Against Cancer Challenge

My Cause & Connection: I earned it to improve lives affected by cancer by raising money for the HEADstrong Foundation.

My Competition: I launched a season-long fundraiser where family & friends pledged per faceoff win.

My Impact: I raised more the $3,ooo by recording 71 faceoff wins worth $42.90 per faceoff win.

View Tyler's fundraiser page by clicking here.

What inspired you to first get really involved in the program/cause? Can you share anything about the moment you decided you were going to start a fundraiser?

Our son goes to the Face Off Academy with Coach Jerry Ragonese. We follow all of the coaches on social media and when we saw Greg Gurenlian's post challenging the FOA family to undertake this challenge we thought our son Tyler would want to do it. My wife and I discussed it and then presented it to Ty who immediately wanted to do it. We were all excited to see Tyler do something he does well with a larger purpose driving it.

Why did you choose a performance-based fundraiser? What was appealing about performance-based fundraising?

In our house we are firm believers of putting your money where your mouth is. Tyler prides himself on being a top face off man for his age group. We challenged him to win as many as possible to raise as much money as he could. For kids who face off there is already a ton of pressure. We thought this added a nice motivation to the pressure.

What your favorite or most memorable moment during the fundraiser?

Early on Tyler faced off against a few of his club teammates and friends. It was a crowded stadium full of loud fans. Tyler went 100% and scored back to back goals. What was so great is that parents from the opposing team were cheering him on knowing he was raising money for every face off win. It was remarkable to see people come up to him and tell him they loved what he was doing. He even had a few refs ask him if he was the kid raising money for cancer.

When did your fundraising campaign really take-off? What was the most effective technique you used to spread the word about your fundraising campaign?

Social media was huge. From Facebook to Instagram it helped get people on board. I would create a post each Sunday during the campaign with a picture of Ty facing off and his stats. It was always about the money raised though and not how many he won. We wanted to make sure people understood he and we wanted him to win as many as he could because it was all going to Headstrong.

What was it like while you were competing to know that the money being raised was based on your performance?

I just wanted to try even harder. My coaches let me take almost all of the face offs as the season went on supporting me. So I tried my best to keep winning them. Sometimes they even let me play against older boys to win a few more!

What advice would you have for other athletes, especially youth, high school, and college athletes who have their own influence on social media and in their communities? Why should athletes get involved and do more than just playing the game?

As a parent lacrosse has meant a lot to our family. We love the sport. We love the friends Tyler has made. We love the friends we've made. You realize it's a rather small family. Ty regularly faces off against the same boys in town ball as well as club. You get to know these people. Being able to put something you are good at to benefit the greater good is important. Especially when it comes to an organization founded on someone who was a lacrosse player. These kids have a voice in this. When given the chance to do this I know many did. Social Media can give them a voice and a platform. Ultimately we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. Why not do that through your natural ability to play lacrosse?

Why do you support HEADstrong's mission, and why is it important to you?

Our family has been ravaged by cancer. We've lost those we've loved and luckily we have others who are survivors. Tyler chooses to have pink strings on his stick for this as a reminder. At the end of the day the amount Tyler raised isn't huge. But he knows that he raised money to help people suffering. For us this was personal. At the end of the day we could not be prouder of Tyler for doing this. To end up as the top youth player wasn't something he was expecting. When people realized how close he was to they gave a little more. That's what this was all about. It was about helping people. We can't wait to do it again next season!

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Published on August 16, 2018

by JohnPaul Bennett

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