Barnstable County

2nd Cape Cod vacation home for kids with cancer to open after $1 million donation

CENTERVILLE, Mass. — Just off Main Street in Centerville sits a beautiful former historic inn that’s about to spring to life as a second Tommy’s Place.

Last summer, Tim O’Connell opened the doors to a stunning 11-bedroom vacation home in Falmouth for kids fighting cancer. He called it Tommy’s Place. It’s named in memory of his late friend, Tommy Leonard, the founder of the Falmouth Road Race.

One family at a time visits the home for up to a week, free of charge, to enjoy the Cape. So far, 46 families have vacationed there. Tim had been looking to open a second Tommy’s Place due to the overwhelming waiting list that now stretches into 2024. “Hopefully, we can knock this waiting list down between the two houses now and keep doing what we can for all these kids. They didn’t pick this fight that they’re in. Just doing our little part to give them a little break,” he said.

Tim put the word out that he was looking to open a second location, but since the homes are fully funded through donations, he needed help. And he got it thanks to a very generous donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. “One day I opened my email and in my email is this number and I keep counting the zeroes. I’m like there are 6 zeroes, plus a one, and I’m like, oh my god, it’s a million dollars,” he said.

Shortly after another anonymous donor contributed $500,000. The only stipulation from these donors is that they have tasked Tim with finding matching donors to help reach their goal of raising $3.5 million for the new Tommy’s Place. Tim plans to close on the home in early June and after some renovations he hopes to open the second tommy’s place this summer.

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