About Hope on the Hill

We would like to share with you a story about a Westminster family who has influenced us to organize new events on campus. In 2007 Mr. Curtis had just started coaching lacrosse at the University of Vermont and the Curtis’ spent many evenings hosting team dinners and getting to know the group of 48 student athletes.

That winter, one of the seniors walked into Mr. Curtis’ office and informed him that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis was overwhelming and he didn’t know what to do. In the player’s wildest dreams he never thought that at the age of 21 he would be diagnosed with cancer.

Fortunately for this story, when Mr. and Mrs. Curtis were living in Boston, Mrs. Curtis had worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In an even greater coincidence she worked in the section Mr. Curtis’ player needed to see. Within a week the UVM lacrosse player had an appointment and a treatment plan that he could follow in Burlington, Vermont. The best part of this story is that he is now 31 years old and in full remission.

It was this experience that helped Mr. and Mrs. Curtis see, first hand, the reality that cancer can touch anyone, at any age. Watching the players come to grips their teammate’s medical journey, helping them support their teammate, was an important coaching moment for both of the Curtis’. Since 2008 three additional lacrosse players have been diagnosed with cancer on UVM’s lacrosse team. As you can imagine it is extremely rare to have this many young adults diagnosed with cancer on one team.

The Curtis’ started the charity the Northeast Classic in 2008 after doing a ton of research, meeting with Dana-Farber and sitting in doctors’ offices with these three players. The information they heard time and time again was “early detection plays a HUGE role in survival.” They took it upon themselves to try and inform as many young adults as possible about the importance of early detection and self-examination.

The Curtis family moved to Westminster School in 2016. Mr. Curtis teaches history, is a College Counselor and is the Head Boys Lacrosse Coach. Mrs. Curtis is the Director of Community Service.

Westminster always hosts a large community awareness event on campus and this year we are excited to announce it will be The Hope On The Hill. Same amazing message, a challenging course and a lot of fun.

Please contact us if you have any questions, would like to sponsor the event, or are interested in becoming a vendor.