Canisius Women’s Lacrosse senior raises money at her last home game
By Hannah Nelson, Features Contributor
There were a lot of reasons that Saturday, April 16, 2022 was special for Canisius Women’s Lacrosse senior captain Megan Hoffman.
It was her senior day. Her team ended up pulling off an improbable, playoff-sealing overtime win over Quinnipiac with freshman midfielder Hailey Rooney making her collegiate debut at the goalkeeper position. Her sister Amy’s bridal shower was to be celebrated later that night. But, for Hoffman and many others at the Demske Sports Complex, Saturday was special for a much more important reason.
Growing up, the Hoffman and Dunsmoor families were always extremely close. The two mothers, Anne and Judy, had been best friends since high school, so the four Hoffman children — Laura, Amy, Brian and Megan — naturally grew up alongside the extended family they found in Garrett, MacKenzie, and Dylan Dunsmoor.
As the youngest of the Hoffman clan, Megan often spent time attached to the hip of her parents, Jadon and Anne, when the families got together. “Being the youngest of my family and four years younger than Garrett, I wasn’t always with the ‘older kids,’” Megan recalled, “But, G must’ve been able to tell I was bummed when I was spending a lot of time with parents because he came and got me to hang with my older siblings and all their friends from Oswego. This is something Garrett probably didn’t even think twice about, that’s just who he was.”
Making people feel special, loved and cared about isn’t often a priority for young men, but is something that came naturally to Garrett as compassion radiated from every ounce of his character. A standout student-athlete on the Oswego High School’s basketball, football and lacrosse teams, Garrett later attended St. Lawrence University. He competed on the men’s lacrosse team for four years and the men’s football team for two, earning three Liberty League All-Academic selections in the process. In 2018, Dunsmoor graduated from St. Lawrence with honors — he had big plans for his life, and was enthusiastic about all of the possibilities that could come his way. In July, just two months after his college graduation Garrett tragically passed away.
However, people that naturally touch and impact others by just being themselves, people like Garrett, don’t die when their physical presence does. This is something that the Dunsmoor and Hoffman families are making sure rings true even in the face of tragedy.
The Garrett Dunsmoor Memorial Foundation was started by the Dunsmoor family in order to benefit the youth of Oswego through scholarships, grants to community projects and organizations and more. “Garrett lived his life to the fullest. It’s important to remember how important he made others feel, and how he brought the best out in those around him by just being himself. He could light up any room with his positive outlook on life, making you want to be a better person,” Megan said.
So, Megan took a day that was supposed to be all about her and her fellow seniors, and made something else more important. Just like Garrett would have done.
She asked head coach Russell Allen if he would feel comfortable having a fundraising table with merchandise and raffle tickets for sale during the Senior Day game — the last home game of the year and of her career. He, and her entire team, wholeheartedly agreed. The entire Dunsmoor and Hoffman families were in attendance on Saturday, with a full table’s-worth of GD Memorial Foundation merch and raffle tickets for sale. “Seeing GD stickers on sticks, the American flag scrunchies in everyone’s hair made my heart so happy,” Megan said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to celebrate Garrett with.”
Hoffman found a way to make Senior Day even more special, and now, Megan and Garrett’s tradition will have permanently touched the Canisius Women’s Lacrosse program. Inspired by Hoffman’s passion, Allen suggested that every senior day in the years to come should support a foundation important to the girls graduating, just like Garrett’s.
As Maya Angelou famously said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” May we all hope to be a little more like Garrett Dunsmoor.
The fundraiser raised over $500 in support of the GD Memorial Foundation. For more information about the amazing work the GD Memorial Foundation does, please visit https://www.garrettdunsmoormemorialfoundation.com.