The Cook Family Charitable Fund Selects Tommy’s Place As Beneficiary

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The Cook Family Charitable Fund (, a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 with a mission of raising funds for families dealing with cancer and substance use, as well as individuals with intellectual disabilities, has selected Tommy’s Place in Falmouth as a beneficiary of its major fundraiser which will take place next month.

The Cook Family Charitable Fund will host its 10th annual Golf Tournament on July 12 at Indian Pond Country Club, Kingston. The tournament will raise funds to benefit a number of worthy causes.

 Peter Cook, co-founder of The Cook Family Charitable Fund, met with the founder of Tommy’s Place, Tim O’Connell, recently and was impressed with his plans.

“We learned about his dream for Tommy’s Place in Falmouth; to turn the Elm Arch Inn into a summer home to be used by kids with cancer and their families.”

O’Connell envisions the 11-bedroom, nine-bathroom home as a refuge for families, one week at a time, to get families away from a hospital setting. The former Elm Arch Inn at 26 Elm Arch Way, Falmouth, is expected to open this summer.

O’Connell recalled that he was at Floating Hospital in 2007, and at the time, had a home available for a week’s stay. He asked hospital staff if they knew of a family who wanted to use the home at no cost to them. They chose a family from Lynn with a son named Grifyn, who was fighting cancer.

“We did everything we could to make the week special for them,” he recalled.

At the conclusion of their vacation, O’Connell received a call from the hospital, notifying him that the family had left him several letters of appreciation. “I saw photos of how happy the family was. From that moment on, I knew what I wanted and had, to do.”

“It is taking a monumental effort to get the building completed,” he said. “Upon hearing of our plans, Peter Cook asked to meet with us and offered his support of our efforts.” 

“We’re on a good trajectory,” said O’Connell. “We have gotten quite a bit of help, including a team of 28 designers led by HGTV designer Taniya Nayak.” There are 24 different sponsors who are helping see this project through. “Each one of the rooms will be decorated, with a goal of wowing the kids.”

With no cost to the families, he said, “They should be able to come to the house and just be themselves.”

O’Connell, who is a builder and renovator who began his career in South Boston 25 years ago, has been building on Martha’s Vineyard and is now renovating the Inn on the Cape.

Tommy’s Place is named for Tommy Leonard, the founder of the Falmouth Road Race.

“He was an incredibly generous man to us,” O’Connell said. “People are unaware of just how much he has given back to the community. This is all about families with children who have cancer. They get a raw deal. We hope this is a way of giving them a break.”

 O’Connell received a call recently from Grifyn’s mother who conveyed to him that the week’s vacation was one of the high spots of her son’s short life.

“That makes it all worthwhile,” he said. 

This is a great project for families and we are thrilled to help Tim,” said Cook. “His vision is such a great match for our mission – to help families with substance use, disabilities or cancer. We are very pleased to have Tommy’s Place as part of our fundraising effort.”

For more information about Tommy’s Place, visit