3 yrs after founder Tim O’Connell initially appealed for donations, “Tommy’s Location,” a holiday vacation dwelling for little ones fighting cancer, opened in Falmouth very last July.
The multi-million-dollar venture, named after creator of the Falmouth Street Race Tommy Leonard, was funded completely by donations, said O’Connell, and contains plenty of place to accommodate a child’s spouse and children, extended family, and pals. The refuge has an inground swimming pool, video game rooms, and sports facilities.
Tommy’s Position succeeded beyond O’Connell’s wildest desires and has been occupied by a spouse and children each and every 7 days since opening. Tommy’s Place is at the moment serving its 45th family members and is booked properly into 2024.
To maintain up with demand from customers and assure as lots of kids as possible get to expertise the magic of Tommy’s Location, O’Connell plans to open a next locale in Centerville.
“We’re in the small business of making exciting for people today, you know that is the return on the investment decision now,” he explained. “It really is bringing a smile to the deal with of the young ones who are combating cancer.”
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O’Connell lately appealed for donations with a intention of increasing $3.5 million. From just two donors he has currently gained $1.5 million.
O’Connell reported he expects to close on the Centerville house, previously the Fernbrook Inn, on June 1 for the value of $2.5 million. He anticipates it will just take yet another $1 million to remodel the creating.
When accomplished, the home will consist of about 10 bedrooms, a recreation space, a motion picture room and an out of doors playhouse, just to title a couple of amenities.
How did Tommy’s Put get started?
The plan for Tommy’s Place began in 2007. That is when a tenant who was intended to hire one particular of O’Connell’s Martha’s Winery houses for a week cancelled at the very last minute.
Relatively than let one of his friends or relatives members use the property, O’Connell drove to Tuft’s Kids Healthcare facility in Boston to see if any of the sick small children and their families would be intrigued in a holiday vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.
“I nevertheless will not know to this day, it was like a little something else was driving my vehicle that day,” O’Connell explained.
A young most cancers patient named Grifyn Sawyer and his relatives took O’Connell up on his offer. Grifyn died ahead of O’Connell could meet up with him, but the boy’s mom and grandmother gave letters and shots to O’Connell, expressing their gratitude and documenting the time that they experienced.
They explained to O’Connell that they hadn’t observed Grifyn smile the way he did that week in a very extended time.
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That practical experience influenced O’Connell to pursue making a dream family vacation household for small children battling most cancers, so that they could practical experience the joy that Sawyer did.
O’Connell left his occupation of developing homes in Martha’s Winery and bought all his properties to devote his life to setting up Tommy’s Put. His enchantment for donations went out in 2018, but the reaction was at first slow.
It was not until eventually 2020, when O’Connell began working on the Falmouth property formerly identified as the Elm Arch Inn that the donations started off to move from supporters who O’Connell phone calls “angels.” Tommy’s Place was up and working in July 2021.
“We experienced union personnel functioning side by side with non-union workers, sharing brushes and sharing tales, sharing paint, and sharing lunch,” he mentioned. It was the most satisfying development web site that I have at any time been on, just the optimistic electricity that was in the dwelling, and all people pulling for the very same motive, for these young children.”
Now, with the support of a few extra angels, O’Connell hopes to make the dream come correct again in Centerville.