is a vacation home being developed at the former Elm Arch Inn in beautiful Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod for kids fighting cancer and their families! The Mission:
We are raising funds to make a dream home-away-from-home for kids fighting cancer and their families, a break from the hospitals, a place of comfort and new experiences and memories, and the gift of time to just be together - for immediate family members, or big enough to include extended family, close family friends and caregivers. Why? Because of the 8-year-old boy who the home is being dedicated to, Grifyn Sawyer. Several years ago I just wanted to help in any way I could, and to do something that I wished to be truly meaningful, for these courageous kids and their families. So I made my home on Martha's Vineyard available to Grifyn and his family, not entirely knowing just how valuable of an experience it would be...
Grifyn's amazing Mom, Amy says it best: “Our beautiful son Grifyn Robert Sawyer was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Aplastic Anemia, on Sept. 12, 2001, at 2 1/2 years old. Grifyn fought a courageous battle for 6 years and in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2007 he became an angel. The trip was the most amazing time for our whole family...We didn't know at the time, but that would be the last vacation as a complete family we would have. Seeing the joy and wonder on the kid's faces as we stepped into the amazing house we stayed at was priceless... It was a time of joy and relaxation and a time where Grifyn had somewhat of a reprieve from the hospital and doctor visits. He was able, if just for a short time, to be a normal kid. Everything was taken care of for us, the only thing we had to do was enjoy it all. As the week drew to an end, it was back to reality but with memories that will last a lifetime. Over the years I have thought about that trip and this mysterious person many, many times. Imagine the shock, when a little over 10 years later, I received an email from Tim O'Connell, the amazing man who donated our trip, saying he has never forgotten Grifyn or our family. He filled us in with his plans to build a place where families like us can go year round for a week at a time and for at least a brief period of time, not worry about doctors, needles, and hospital visits. Tim is truly an angel sent from above and we can never thank him enough. This project will put smiles on the faces of so many families experiencing the worst of times and I am proud to have my son's name a part of that."Amy Sawyer
And a note from Grifyn's Grandparents and Amy's Mom and Dad, after their stay…
"My husband and I had to thank you ourselves for the most overwhelming gift you gave to Grifyn and his family. Just to see our daughter Amy, Grifyn's mom, so happy and relaxed was just wonderful. As for Grifyn, he smiled and talked more than he has in a long time...your generosity was very much appreciated by us all. Our family has certainly been blessed by an angel!!"Bless you and thank you again!
Sincerely, Grifyn's Grandma and Papa, Sandy
I had found one way to make a difference, and now I am asking you to join me in continuing this mission of making this opportunity available to many more kids and families that are fighting childhood cancer! It's going to be a tall task to make this dream a reality, but together, through the dedicated commitment of volunteers and the generosity of your donations, every little smile coming from these courageous kids faces is going to make it all worthwhile! Funds being raised will go towards the purchase, rebuilding and opening of this dream home that will include multiple bedrooms, chef’s kitchen, movie room, game room, built-in pool and much, much more! All families need to bring are clothes, a toothbrush and a desire to have fun and make memories! We never expect that our healthy, happy child will be diagnosed with childhood cancer. We can’t anticipate that our daily routine will be immediately altered and our new normal will include hospitalizations, doctors appointments, painful treatments, clinic chemotherapy, and employment interruption. The tentacles of cancer are far-reaching. There are interruptions to childhood, school, employment, finances, siblings, and extended family and friends. Days, weeks, months and years are committed to remission and restored “health.” Tommy’s Place will provide accommodations for entire families to come together for a week of connecting without the strain of cancer!
Thank you very much for your kindness, generosity, and support in helping to make this dream home a reality for these courageous young kids and their families that are fighting this horrendous illness!
Let's Help Make Some Memories!
Sincerely,Tim O'Connell +Tommy's Place Team!*Why the name Tommy's Place you ask...?
Tommy’s Place is named in honor of local Falmouth, MA legend Tommy Leonard, also known as the founder of the world famous Falmouth Road Race. Tommy is also a legend in the Boston Marathon world as a famous bartender at the former Eliot Lounge in Boston! While Tommy is a former runner, U.S. Marine, and bartender, he is most importantly known for his fun-loving spirit, great attitude and for having a huge, kind, loving and generous heart! Bottom line, he is a giver and I am honored to have met him and to be able to call him my friend. Tommy has been an inspiration to me and has helped change my life just by being "Tommy". Orphaned in his youth, this is my way of giving Tommy the “home” that he didn't have when he was growing up - allowing his generosity and legacy to live on forever in Falmouth by "welcoming" these courageous young children and families into his “home”, free of charge, to share in some fun and laughter during some of their most challenging times.