By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/22/08
Tom Bruder, who has been instrumental in supporting and developing men’s club lacrosse in the Philadelphia area for over 20 years as sponsor of the MAB Paints/Philadelphia LC, was given the Founder’s Award for his contributions to the sport Monday at the 16th Annual Philadelphia Lacrosse Association (PLA) Golf Outing.
The event, which featured 124 golfers and 60 sponsors, was held at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. Proceeds of the event, totaling $16,000, go to helping the PLA fulfill its mission of building and supporting lacrosse in the region, especially in the inner city.
Bruder, who brought the first United States Club Lacrosse Association (USCLA) championship to Philadelphia in 2006, also served as the Honorary Chair of the event. The Founder’s Award, normally given every two years by chapter members, recognizes those who have made significant and enduring contributions to the growth and development of lacrosse in Pennsylvania.
Bruder first began sponsoring club teams in 1986 when he took MAB Paints LC – featuring Philadelphia based all-stars – to the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. Over the next 17 years, MAB won four titles (1993, 1995, 1998, 2002) and placed second three times, posting an overall record of 52-14 against the top post-collegiate club players in the country.
In 1990, MAB Paints joined the USCLA, the top post-collegiate league in the country and where many of the top players competed before the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse formed. Two years later, MAB paints merged with Eagles Eye Philadelphia to form a powerhouse team in the USCLA.
MAB Paints placed second in the USCLA three times beginning in 2002, and finally broke through with the national championship in 2006 by edging North Hempstead, in dramatic style, scoring with 11 seconds left to win, 14-13.
“He basically helped put Philadelphia lacrosse on the map,” said Chris McNichol, general manager of the GMH Philadelphia Lacrosse Club (formerly MAB Paints) and the nephew of Bruder. “Before it was always Long Island and Baltimore that won at the national tournaments; Philadelphisa was an afterthought.
“But as sponsor, he helped to bring the best players out and recruit the best players, like Chris Flynn, Gary Gait, Tony Resch and others. They helped to make Philadelphia a team to reckon with and that’s why the MLL decided to give Philadelphia a team.”
McNichol noted that the success of MAB Paints at the club level filtered down to all levels. What’s more, Bruder helped sponsor youth club teams in the Philadelphia area.
“Philadelphia is one of the newer hotbeds of lacrosse,” he said. “And it shows in what tom did and how he helped grow the sport, whether it was the youth clubs or all the way to the national club tournaments.”
Bruder is proud of how lacrosse has grown in the Philadelphia area.
“You see kids getting on buses and going down the street today with a lacrosse stick,” Bruder said. “They used to have gloves and bats, and now they’re playing lacrosse. It’s a game that is player-friendly.
“There are kids in all walks of life out there playing lacrosse. The PLA is going to help to make it a major sport.”
Money raised by this event goes to fund PLA activities, including its New Start Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to new youth and high school programs.
Over the years, the PLA has raised over $200,000 to support new programs in the region from this event, which also has been held at Huntingdon Valley, Philadelphia Cricket Club, Rolling Green and Manufacturers Country Club. Other recipients of the Founders Award over the years include Ralph Davy, Scott Growney, Bob Burch, Carol Wakefield, John Linehan and Shelly Erwine.
Winners from 16th PLA Golf Outing
Winners of the skill contests included the following: Closest to the Pin –Tom Pillion (4th Hole, 10’5’’); Tommy Hannum (9th Hole, 4’5’’) and Guy Wharton (16th Hole, 9’5’’); Longest Drives – Eric Carlson (Men – 3rd Hole), Jenny Duckenfield (Women – 3rd Hole) and Marius Wolmarans (17th Hole); Straightest Drive – Pete Zonino.
Three foursomes finished with a low gross score of 64, the tie was broken by a match of cards. The winners were as follows: 1st (64) – Chris Naylor, Bill McDonough, Ed Devine and Mike McNulty; 2nd (64) – Bob Kennedy, Shawon Lawton, Pat Tonrey and Rich White; 3rd (64) – Eric Carlson, Doug Corrigan, BJ Hinkle and Drew Pressman; 4th (65) – Ned Berry, Ed Berry, Sean McFadden and Mark Miller.
The low net winners were as follows:L 1st – Tim Filler, Hank Gulbrandson, John Wilson and Steve Young; 2nd – Dave Brumbaugh, Mark Frisina, Rob Lord and John Zaharchuck; 3rd – Bruce Cox, Dino Mangion, John Steck and Guy Wharton; 4th – Paul DeLombo, Patrick Growney, Steven Growney and Jimmy “Cuzz” Ralston.