Men’s lacrosse team raises $2,700 for Daniel J. Hollis Foundation

By Clarissa Calderon

The men’s lacrosse team raised $2,700 for The Daniel J. Hollis foundation in November through a “movember” campaign that saw them grow mustaches until their goal was reached. 

Hollis, a former goaltender on the lacrosse team, died on Oct. 2, 2019 at 19, four days after an altercation outside a Brighton house party left him with extensive brain injuries. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Samuel Boris London was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison in connection with Hollis’ killing. 

The $2,700 goal was set by the team in honor of Hollis’ number 27.  Named “Muzzy’s for Dan,” the fundraiser prompted players to grow mustaches until the $2,700 goal was met. The team reached the goal in nine days, but will continue to fundraise, according to graduate student Austin Franklin, one of the team’s captains.

Hollis’s family created the foundation in his memory, with the aim of supporting young students with a scholarship fund. At Hollis’ former high school, senior student-athletes are awarded the scholarship based on leadership, selfless play, team dedication, and love for their sport. 

The team’s fundraiser was organized by junior attacker Nick Fulgione. Franklin said Fulgione approached him with the idea in the gym.

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“He originally wanted to grow mustaches in the month of November for something,” Franklin said. “He came up to me in the gym one day with the idea and asked me what I thought and I said ‘what if we did for Dan’s foundation?’ It was a great show of leadership on his behalf.” 

The team promoted the fundraiser through social media with posts popping up on the team’s account as well as those of individual players. Sophomore defenseman Josh DeMattos created the graphic displayed on the post. 

“I just was asked to make a graphic by [Fulgione] and he told me his plan,” DeMattos said. “He came to me because he knew of my graphic design background. I thought it was a well-thought-out idea and started to make a graphic for a good cause.”

Head coach Matthew Colombini said the team works to keep Hollis’ hard working mentality alive. 

“As a team, we give out his practice jersey every week to the player that exhibits all of Dan’s best characteristics and is a great teammate, so he is never far from anyone’s mind when we are playing,” Colombini said. “That added honor of representing him while being the practice player of the week is something our guys really appreciate and take pride in.”

Franklin is one of the few players still on the roster who played alongside Hollis and reflected on the memories of his late teammate. 

“I knew Dan from the day he stepped foot on campus,” Franklin said. “He always managed to appreciate every single day whether it was a practice when it’s cold and it’s raining or when it’s sunny out and everything’s perfect.” 

A lot can change over the course of two years for a collegiate locker room, but what stands out is the team’s honoring of Hollis’ reputation. Franklin said the team was motivated to reach the goal and that the fundraiser attests to the team’s character. 

“This younger generation of guys who never knew Dan are really excited to keep Dan’s legacy alive and the things Dan stood for like helping other people.”

Colombini said the team hopes to make the fundraiser an annual tradition for Hollis and his family. 

“Back in the spring of 2020 we had plans to have Dan Hollis Day for one of our home games prior to the COVID shutdown,” Colombini said. “That is definitely in the works for this spring so we can continue to raise funds and honor Dan.”

Colombini shared how meaningful it is to coach a team that’s giving back. He said that Hollis will continue to impact the lacrosse program at Emerson. 

“They are incredibly hardworking and always try to do the right thing,” Colombini said. “Dan was and is a huge part of our program and will always be. My favorite part of this fundraiser is that Nick came to me with it and he never played with Dan. That really speaks to the role Dan plays in our program today.”