“Tommy is a typical teenager,” said his mom, Bobbi. “He enjoys hanging out with friends and he has the occasional attitude when told to take the dirty dishes out of his room.”
But Tommy Hosmer, a 17-year-old Bangor High School senior, is more than ‘a typical teenager.’ He is the founder of the Team Mimi’s Softball Tournament named in honor of his “Mimi” who died of ovarian cancer. Tommy is now gearing up for the 7th annual event, and has raised $50,000 since he first began his fundraising.
“I am very proud of Tommy for his compassion,” said Bobbi, “and for taking the loss of his Mimi and turning it into what it is today; from a very, very young age, Tommy has been a giving, kind hearted child.”
Tommy’s dad Paul recalled how his mother (and Tommy’s Mimi) Linda Williams, who was 62, was looking forward to the Lafayette Center for her care.
“It opened just a month after she passed in 2009,” he said. “She fought for three and half years with cancer and Tommy only knew of her being sick, so his goal was to raise enough money to get her name on the wall.”
Today, Linda’s name is in fact affixed on the donor wall on the second floor of the Lafayette Center because of her grandson’s fundraising efforts.
“Whenever we went over to her house, we were always doing something like coloring and swimming,” recalls Tommy. “She was very energetic and that is what kind of drives me to do this. I think of her energy and now turn it into my own.”
“Mimi loved watching me play baseball and attended my games, and if she couldn’t come, she always asked about how it went,” said Tommy. “I thought of a softball tournament because it’s coed and it’s popular. Immediately, I knew Champion the Cure was my cause.”
Tommy’s efforts have been recognized by many. The teen was recently selected by US Cellular’s “Future of Good” program, which champions and invests in youth who make a positive impact in their communities. The Home Run Derby fundraiser Tommy organized in October was featured by US Cellular which awarded $10,000 to Team Mimi. Tommy also won a trip last month to the Boys and Girls Club of America in New York where he connected with other young, energetic fundraisers.
This young philanthropist began with a book sale, and rather than take the proceeds and go to Disney World (as the book donor suggested), he declared his charity—Champion the Cure Challenge. That was when he was 10 years old.
Tommy’s quiet demeanor and knack for fundraising has him ramping up his annual letter writing campaign seeking donations, sponsors, and raffle items for the upcoming spring tournament. “[Then] I go around to local businesses seeking donations. I used to drag my parents around,” he said with a laugh, acknowledging that he probably exhausted his parents. “But now I have my license. I can go by myself.”
Over the years, Tommy has amassed a host of sponsors including Bangor Parks and Recreation, Sam’s Club in Bangor, Varney Buick GMC, Bodies By Badger, and many others rotating throughout the years, not to mention the ever-growing list of patrons of the softball tournament.
Each year the tournament draws more folks registering to get up to bat. “Usually teams return and the new teams hear about it through social media or are told by other teams,” said Tommy, who strives to have 14 teams compete each year. “The last tournament, though, we had to turn down teams because we did not have enough space. It was kinda hard on all of us but we had no choice.”
He admitted that “it is incredible seeing the entire community coming together not just for me but for cancer awareness. Everyone has been affected in some way by cancer. I do what I do because I don’t want people to have their family go through what ours or someone else is going through.”
In the fall, Tommy heads off to college at Northern Maine Community College and already his parents and friends are gearing up to keep the momentum going for Team Mimi.
“We have a pretty good support system of friends who are there at the drop of a hat,” said his father.
Tommy admits he does not flaunt his successes with team Mimi, but rather gives the credit to the community and its financial generosity. “I would say of Team Mimi that we are just a big team of people—a community, really, who want to find a cure for cancer and be there for each other. I’m amazed and very proud of the community’s help. I owe my community the world. I could not do this without any of them.”
To learn more about Team Mimi, visit teammimi.net or find them on Facebook.
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