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10th Annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival: A celebration of Katie’s spirit and true sportsmanship

Sunday, 25th April 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, Features, Girl's/Women's, High School  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com Posted 4/25/10

A special presentation was made Saturday for a $10,000 donation to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital on behalf of the Katie Samson Foundation. From left (bottom) are Magee wheelchair sports coordinator AJ Nanayakkara, athlete Heather Schultz, Katie Samson (top), Fox 29's Jennaphr Fredericks, Guy Fried, MD, of Magee, Foundation President Murray Grossman, the Phillies Phanatic and Magee VP for Development &PR Ronald Siggs

Thousands of people flocked to Radnor High on a sunny day Saturday to watch the largest field ever participate in the 10th Annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival.

The event featured 54 scholastic teams – 28 girls’ clubs and 26 boys’ teams – as well as youth games and, equally important, adaptive games in rugby, basketball and tennis.

Of course, one of the most popular participants in the day’s event was Katie Samson, who played in the wheelchair rugby games as a member of the Magee Eagles. After all, it is Samson’s determination to live a full life that has helped the festival grow into the largest single-day scholastic event in the country.

Samson is a Radnor grad who became paralyzed from the chest down in a sledding accident months after leading Middlebury College (CT) to the NCAA Division III lacrosse championship 11 years ago. Since that event, Samson has been a proponent for those with spinal cord injuries to continue to participate in sports.

With Samson’s model, the Katie Samson Foundation has raised nearly $1 million for spinal cord research. On Saturday before the boys’ game between Conestoga – coached by Samson’s brother, Brian – and Malvern Prep, a presentation was made by Foundation officials for $10,000 to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital.

Katie Samson gave a speech where she acknowledged the growth of adaptive sports, the spirit of the Katie Samson Festival and the enormous contributions made by local volunteers from the Radnor lacrosse community.

“I love seeing so many teams out here, and the sportsmanship is phenomenal,” Samson said to the crowd. “Everyone is supporting one another and sticking around and watching other games.

“The adaptive sports program is really important and has a lot of impact on my life. It’s great to have that here for the second year in a row.

“We just keep growing and growing and I really and appreciate the amount of volunteers that make all the effort to make this day possible.”

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