Roughneck donates $10,000

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:46 PM ET

Lacrosse is a weekend habit for most players on the Calgary Roughnecks, but Mike Carnegie has a much more important reason to play this season.

The Riggers assistant captain is working his butt off on the floor so hopefully a kid halfway across the world can get proper medical care or a decent education.

Carnegie, who is in his fourth season as a National Lacrosse League defender, will donate half his Roughnecks salary this season — $10,000 — to Partners Relief and Development, a charity that provides support to Burmese refugees in Thailand.

Although Carnegie and his wife both have full-time jobs (He is a survey analyst for Stantec; she is a PR director for a nation firm), they aren’t exactly rolling in dough. Still, he decided this was too important a cause not to support.

“Hailey and I have thought about it a lot,” Carnegie said. “Other people need the money more than I do.

“It’s tough for us to register in our minds how desperate people are in need of help. There are small things we can do to change our lifestyle and limit ourselves in certain ways to help other people. It can be achieved.”

Carnegie’s plan is to get Roughnecks players and supporters on board to raise more money through silent auctions.

Although Carnegie went to Uganda this off-season to work with children and expose them to lacrosse, this cause was dear to his heart even before that.

On the surface, $10,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money when talking about the damage that has been done in Burma, but Greg Toews of Partners couldn’t be happier to have Carnegie on board.

“This is a great start,” said Toews, who lived in Thailand for eight years before coming back to Calgary three years ago to run the charity’s Canadian chapter.

“What people don’t realize is how far money goes over there. The impact is exponential.

“Our cost per child is $12. That includes teacher stipend, teacher training, some resources for the school and the student. So $10,000 puts a lot of kids in schools. Through this initiative, we should be able to multiply that impact.”

Through three games this season and with this initiative, it’s clear Carnegie has grown into his leadership role with the Riggers.

He’s been arguably the best player on the floor for the 2-1 team this season. He attributes it to self-examination of his game.

“I’ve been keeping a journal,” Carnegie said. “I’ve been taking it a lot more seriously. I write down where I made certain mistakes.

“I’m concentrating on the game within the game a bit more. It’s something I did in the past but I let it slide last year.

“This year, I’ve kept the journal. I’ve been writing down what I did wrong and what I can do better.”

As if he’s not busy enough with a full-time day job and a burgeoning charitable endeavour, the weekend work demands a lot of attention too.

But he’s certainly not complaining, because he knows others are worse off.

“There are tons of exciting things in my life right now and I’m excited to see where this goes,” Carnegie said.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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