Rob Pannell International Contracting, Ltd.

Mitchell Layton

The world needs ditch diggers, and Pannell is there with a helping hand.

I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself as a liberal or conservative -- as a former political philosophy major, I've read so much material on structures and attitudes that my personal political beliefs are something akin to "Whatever benefits me" -- but I do believe that as people on this planet we have a responsbility to help each other. That's why I was so jacked up about Princeton's Tom Schreiber heading to Uganda over the summer to assist with Fields of Growth International's efforts in the African country. Good people doing good things is important, and I think we tend to forget that when we spent hours and hours worrying about conference realignment and what it means. In the end it doesn't matter, but what does matter is that there's a big world out there and we all should try to make it as strong and vibrant as possible.

Rob Pannell -- he of shots-and-awe offensive might -- is taking up that charge, spending a portion of his late-fall and early-winter in Uganda in the same manner as Schreiber before him. The Cornell attack is doing double-duty with Fields of Growth, both constructing a classroom facility and also constructing the foundations for Ugandan lacrosse:

Once in Uganda, the Smithtown lacrosse star’s schedule will be heavily booked. “When I’m there, I’m going to start building the classroom,” Pannell said. “I’ll also be working with the Uganda National Lacrosse team, which will be participating in the 2014 World Games. I’ll be working, training, coaching and instructing them. I’ll also visit some schools and do some lacrosse demonstrations.”

Pannell said he will be staying in a guest house that will have amenities such as internet and showers. He is also considering blogging while there and participating with video and photography crews to help document Fields of Growth’s impact on the area. However, Pannell will likely wait until he returns to Smithtown before writing about his experiences.

For the trip, Pannell is keeping an open mind about a new country, culture, continent and hemisphere. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all about,” Pannell said. “I know some of the people who have been there before and a lot of people in the lacrosse world hope I can build the game of lacrosse there. I want to put as many smiles on as many faces as I can and I want to open my eyes to a whole new world. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m going to take it all in.”

That's awesome, but how are things going for Pannell right now? As it turns out, it looks like he's made some new friends and if things don't work out on the lacrosse field, he may have a future in heavy construction:

If you'd like to help Pannell out with his efforts in Uganda, you can contribute to his fundraising efforts right here. Do some good, people. It'll benefit us all in the end.

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