DOVER-FOXCROFT – Every Friday and Saturday, Dexter football fullback Tyler Beem put his body on the line.
For the chance to be a part of an elite class, the east squad in the annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl.
“This has been one of my big dreams since I got in high school,” Beem said. “I’m just a little tiny Class D player trying to make it with all these Class A and Class B kids. So far I think I’m doing a pretty good job,” he added.
The Dexter Tiger is holding his own with the big boys, but his play this week is the last thing on his mind.
“I have a friend who got diagnosed with cancer at the end of football season,” he said.
Former Dexter Tiger, Matthew Simpson, has been fighting the disease since then. In the fall, Beem saw his friend in the hospital down in Portland. A visit that opened his eyes to the harsh realities of life.
“There was this little girl she was in a room and it was like October, November right after football got over and they were doing Christmas for her in November because she wasn’t going to make it and I was like there kids who are struggling every day. So if I can raise money to help someone out like this might as well start,” Beem said.
Each lobster bowl player is asked to raise at least $500, money that goes to the Shriners Hospital. Beem sent out on a mission to raise as much as he could, for Simpson and the rest who are fighting.
“We went pretty much door-to-door, some people gave bottles some people gave five ten bucks,” Beem said. “I got to $10,000 and there’s a kid who got to $11,600 last year and I was like I can beat that so I just kept going and got to $12,000,” he said.
“I get to help kids that are struggling everyday, it’s pretty nice because maybe someday my kid might have to use it or your kid might have to use it. So it’s a pretty good feeling,” Beem said.
Beem will continue fundraising through the week. The Lobster Bowl is set to start at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Thornton Academy.