Terracciano and Minutewomen raise more than $8,000 in “Cash for Quinn”

By Peter Cappiello

Evan Sahagian/Collegian

Surrounded by teammates and family on the sunny field of McGuirk Stadium after her final regular season game as a member of the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team, senior attack Lauren Terracciano took a microphone and soaked in the moment. “Guys, we’ve been through pretty much everything,” she said on Sunday before pausing.

Fighting to steady the tremble in her voice, Terracciano announced that  the team had raised $8,150 in honor of her brother-in-law, Max Quinn, 33, who died suddenly of a cardiac arrhythmia in his sleep on Feb. 4, 2013.

Her sister, Casey Quinn, was unaware of Terracciano’s effort. Hearing it for the first time over the PA system, alongside her two sons, 18-month-old Colton and 3-month-old Carter, Quinn was overcome with emotion.

It was a scene that was four weeks in the making

“It was a little overwhelming,” Terracciano said. “I’m so happy to help in any way I can. My family is my whole world and I was happy I was able to get my teammates in on it as well.”

The project, “Cash for Quinn,” was inspired by the community outpouring following a bus crash involving the Seton Hill University, located in Greensburg, Pa., women’s lacrosse team. Two people – including the pregnant coach – died in the March 16 accident and 14 people were injured.

UMass coach Angela McMahon, who is also expecting a child, empathized with the crash victims and pitched the fundraising concept to Terracciano over spring break a month after Quinn’s death.

“I saw how much support the idea of a fundraiser had for that family and what it did for them,” McMahon said. “So it naturally felt like this was something we could potentially do for Lauren’s family too in terms of just getting them support and a little breathing room when it comes to raising two really young kids as now a single mother. It’s really tough to do.”

Terracciano said McMahon talked to her about how student athletes often get caught up in the daily life of college and a sport, but there is a lesson to learn in putting things into perspective and realizing unpredictable situations happen in reality.

Terracciano, along with fellow senior Sarah Mullen, brainstormed fundraising ideas with the rest of the squad. The group had only four week until their target date of Senior Day on April 21 to reach their goal of $8,000.

The duo launched a support page on gofundme.com a week and a half after spring break, and created wristbands to sell that said “Pain 20,” and “Never forget MFQ.”

“(Quinn) played lacrosse at Babson and he was just a savage pretty much,” Terracciano said. “He was a huge guy, even if they were down 10 points, he would put everything into his hits so he would inflict pain on other players. His teammates nicknamed him Pain and his number was 20.”

Terracciano and Mullen spread word about their site mostly through texts and private emails, struggling to inform people without alerting others.

Mullen even blocked Terracciano’s mother on Facebook. While it was funny, she was worried it would be noticed and blow their cover.

Terracciano was especially vigilant in keeping her efforts a secret.

“I would have anxiety that my mom or sister would see something on Facebook,” Terracciano said. “I actually know my mom’s password, so I would go on it sometimes and see if she had any notifications. If so, I would get rid of them, but I was surprised that we kept it secret for that long due to all the technology we have today.”

After Terracciano announced the news on Sunday, her sister took the microphone to thank everybody involved in raising money.

“It wasn’t surprising to me cause that’s just her and I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Terracciano said. “She wouldn’t have let me put the microphone down without her thanking everybody.”

Mullen said that witnessing the sisterly interaction was powerful, even from an outside perspective.

“It seemed like it just came so natural to her,” Mullen said. “Just speaking from the heart to her sister, it was as if no one else was there. It was really cool because there’s so much hype of finally revealing it and when it happened, it was so natural.”

McMahon said she is not surprised at the lengths that her team went to support Terracciano because of her team’s character.

“Going through the whole process of recruiting and bringing in the right people, that’s something that us coaches take into account to make sure it’s quality people, good character, not just good lacrosse players,” McMahon said. “They’re all really great kids and have great hearts.”

Peter Cappiello can be reached at pcap[email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Cappiello.