Lawrence football captains bring kindness to those fighting bigger scrimmages

From left, Deon McLean, Kodey Lightner, Rob Radice, Matt Roman, Gregg Zenerovitz and Matt Kildea gift flowers and gift cards to those battling breast cancer in Lawrence Township on Nov. 14.SAM PASTORELLA
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From left, Deon McLean, Kodey Lightner, Rob Radice, Matt Roman, Gregg Zenerovitz and Matt Kildea gift flowers and gift cards to those battling breast cancer in Lawrence Township on Nov. 14.SAM PASTORELLA

Not only did the Lawrence High School (LHS) varsity football players have a winning season on the gridiron, they executed an even more meaningful feat off the field.

On Nov. 14, one day after World Kindness Day, captains Deon McLean, Kodey Lightner, Matt Roman and Matt Kildea, accompanied by the team’s head coach, Rob Radice, and the school district Athletic Director Gregg Zenerovitz, had life-changing experiences as they delivered kindness.

The four senior co-captains delivered flowers and $175 gift cards for dinner to four individuals. Former LHS teacher and the other three are Lawrence Township residents were the recipients of these gifts, because all are currently battling breast cancer.

“It truly was an eye-opening experience to be able to give back to the community in such a positive way,” Roman said. “It felt great to give back to these wonderful women in any way possible, who don’t deserve to be battling this horrible disease.”

The money was raised by the team’s sale of pink-out t-shirts throughout the fall season. The appreciation shown by the families moved all who participated.

“What we did today was honestly amazing, the joy I received from seeing those ladies smile was absolutely amazing,” McLean said. “It was amazing to see that doing something like this can truly brighten up a person’s day so much. [It] really made me feel good knowing that I had a chance to put a smile on their faces. I am very grateful for the opportunity [that was] presented [to] me and my teammates.”

When asked to reflect on the day, the captains offered the following responses:

“Bringing happiness to the four women was a great experience and I was really moved by the way each person reacted; it was so genuine,” Kildea said.

“It was my pleasure being a part of what we did today,” Lightner said. “Knowing that taking a little time out of my day was so helpful to someone else. Making an impact on the field feels great, but making an impact off the field feels 100% better. ”