Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/8/11
From Press Releases
The 11th Annual Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival will again hold the distinction of the largest single-day lacrosse event in the country.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 30th, at Radnor High School. This year’s festival -the biggest ever – will feature 54 varsity teams – (26 boys teams and 28 girls teams), youth teams, 20+ vendors, and 10,000 fans.
The event benefits the Katie Samson Foundation, which recently went over the $1 million mark for funds raised to go to spinal cord injury research and development, charities supporting spinal cord injury research, care, and quality of life improvements.
Through the years, the fest has grown beyond all expectations and made a huge impact on the community of lacrosse and beyond by making a difference in people’s lives. It mirrors Katie’s own spirit in her pursuit of well being for all people, whatever their challenges are.
The festival provides the premier high school lacrosse teams in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond with an atmosphere promoting sportsmanship, camaraderie and purpose. The Festival is organized by volunteers from the Philadelphia regional lacrosse community and the Katie Samson Foundation.
The community is inspired by the courage and perseverance of Radnor High alum Katie Samson, a local NCAA Division III lacrosse champion at Middlebury, Conn., who, in January, 2000, was the victim of a devastating spinal cord trauma paralyzing her from the chest down.
* 27 premier boys’ and girls’ league-sanctioned regular season games, along with several youth team games, at Radnor High School.
* The Fest offers these athletes an opportunity to experience a unique community spirit of giving while competing in a challenging sporting event.
* Seven fields running simultaneously from 9am to 6pm.
* Over 10,000 attendees
* Disabled athletes from Magee Rehab will be demonstrating wheelchair rugby and basketball games.
* High profile sports figures attending past Fests have included: Villanova Basketball Coach – Jay Wright and members of the Villanova Basketball team, Philadelphia Eagles – Brain Westbrook and Mike Mamula; Philadelphia Flyer – John LeClair; and many members of the Philadelphia Wings and Barrage teams, including Jake Bergey and Kyle Sweeney. Speakers for this year’s Fest are TBD.
* Families from all over the mid-Atlantic region will be enjoying games, rides, boutiques, face-painters, balloon artists, great raffle prizes, plenty of food and of course, great lacrosse. This year there will be two FanZones which will have “Katie’sKiddieKorner” for younger fans, a Mechanical Bull, Rock Climbing Wall, Moonbounces and Slides, B101 music, and visits from SpongeBob, Hershey characters and the Wings’ Maddog. There will also be a giant game truck filled with the latest video games!
* Food vendors include Bravo Pizza, Johnny’s Dog House, Saxby’s, Mr. Softee, Call Me Cupcakes plus Lew’s BBQ, Peace of Pizza and Big E’s funnel cakes and fries.
* Boutique set-ups in both Fan Zones guarantee a shopping opportunity for all, with Varsity Belts, Daphne’s Details, Bungalow, Brooklyn Bags, Maui Wowi, and more.
* Cascade, Competitive Edge, Great Atlantic Lax Co, Yolo Tribe 7 lax, and Lacrosse International have the latest lacrosse clothing and gear at great Fest prices.
* In support of local lacrosse legend John Christmas’ foundation LEAPS (Lacrosse Education Attitude Perseverance Success), we are asking Fest attendees to clear out their basement of used lacrosse equipment, and to PLEASE bring it to the Fest, dropping it off at either entrance. This will provide countless opportunities for inner city kids to learn and experience the great sport of lacrosse through John’s passionate efforts to make a difference.
The Katie Samson Foundation raises money for research to identify a cure for spinal cord injuries and to optimize care and quality of life for spinal cord patients. The foundation also promotes social awareness as the lacrosse community comes together to support the festival. Through Katie’s prodigious courage and perseverance, her foundation has successfully raised funds to support spinal cord injury research, patient care, and quality of life improvements.
Over $1,000,000 has been donated over the first 10 years! In 2010, over $110,000 in festival contributions supported:
• Operation First Response – Supporting our nation’s spinal cord injured heroes and their families.
• Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids –Pediatric wheelchairs were purchased for disabled Iraqi kids.
• The Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. Support for the BMRH Adapted Driving program providing adaptive driving services for spinal cord injured patients. Funds were also specifically donated to the Lokamat Pro Rehabilitation Robotics system to help patients recovering from spinal and brain injury
• The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis – The first ever human clinical trial that employs a combination of cell transplantation and anti-inflammatory medication that protects the regenerating nerve cells in the spinal cord.
• The BrainGate Project at Brown University – Neuroscientists, electrical engineers, and computer scientists featured on “60 Minutes” under the direction of Professor John Donoghue are working together to translate the thoughts about movement into electrical impulses that instruct muscles to perform complex activities while bypassing areas of spinal cord injury.
• The National Transplant and Catastrophic Industry Fund (NTAF) – Contributions help offset the many uninsured medical expenses associated with spinal cord injury patients.
• The Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports and the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. – Medical advances go hand in hand with the physical activities that maintain muscle tone and improve quality of life. Contributions support athletic programs and equipment for individuals with physical limitations. Murder ball (wheelchair rugby) and adaptive rowing at the Philadelphia Rowing Program for the Disabled on the Schuylkill are activities supported directly by KSF funding. In the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, our US Adaptive Team earned silver and bronze medals in rowing events utilizing a boat donated by KSF.
• Thorncraft – KSF gift purchased an adaptive saddle for therapeutic horseback riding
• Christopher and Diana Reeve Foundation – Funds were directed for spinal cord research
Katie Samson – The Inspiration:
Katie Samson grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania and graduated from Radnor High in 1998. She excelled as a lacrosse goalie, community volunteer, and art enthusiast.
While attending Middlebury College she helped her team capture the Division III National Championship in 1999 and she was named MVP.
The following winter Samson’s life was forever altered when she suffered a spinal cord injury while sledding in a nearby park. After months of rehabilitation and encouragement from family and friends, Katie went back to finish her degree and help coach her college team to two more National titles.
Being in a wheelchair does not slow Katie down; she considers her disability a circumstance in her life, not a defining characteristic. She has lived in Tuscon, Arizona for the past six years – first attending graduate school and then working for the Tuscon Museum of Art.
Recently Samson was very happy to have moved back to Philadelphia to be closer to her family and to assist arts and cultural organizations in the area. She plays wheelchair rugby and tennis for the Magee Adaptive Sports Program, skis in Vermont and continues her involvement with the KSF lacrosse festival. She is grateful to all the amazing volunteers who put hours into making the festival so worthwhile each year.
The high school games will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 30th. All of the games will be played at Radnor High School! The festival website, www.katiesamsonlaxfest.com, has the full schedule as well as all the other exciting details. A $7 ($5 for students/free for toddlers) recommended admission fee allows unlimited access to all activities and rides within the two Fan Zones.
Supporting the festival offers an opportunity to do something meaningful and historic to impact the lives of people affected by spinal cord injuries. The Katie Samson Foundation is a 501©3 corporation located at 522 Brookside Avenue, St David’s, PA 19087 (610-688-1606). All donations are tax deductible. Please contact Clare Girton, Director of Development, 610-293-9984, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions about sponsorships or donations.
2011 Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival schedule, at Radnor High, Radnor, PA
Saturday, April 30
Hatboro-Horsham HS v. Germantown Academy – 9:30 AM on Prevost Field
Garnet Valley HS v. Malvern Prep – 9:30 AM on Creek Field
Great Valley HS v. Tatnall School (DE) – 9:30 AM on Loop Field
Emmaus HS v. St. Joseph’s Prep – 11:30 AM on Prevost Field
Abington HS v. La Salle College HS – 11:30 AM on Creek Field
Penn Charter v. The Hill School – 11:30 AM on Loop Field
Conestoga HS v. Haverford School – 1:30 PM on Prevost Field
Downingtown West HS v. Springfield-Delco HS – 1:30 PM on Creek Field
Harriton HS v. Shipley School – 1:30 PM on Loop Field
Downingtown East HS v. Brunswick School (CT) – 3:30 PM on Prevost Field
Unionville HS v. Salesianum School (DE) – 3:30 PM on Loop Field
Haverford HS v. Archbishop Wood HS – 3:30 PM on Creek Field
Radnor HS v. Episcopal Academy – 4:00 PM on Enke Field
Henderson HS v. Germantown Friends – 9:00 AM on Rowland Field
Penncrest HS v. Agnes Irwin – 9:00 AM on Library Field
Abington HS v. Shipley School – 9:00 AM on Enke Field
Harriton HS v. Unionville HS – 10:45 AM on Rowland Field
Boyertown HS v. Friends’ Central – 10:45AM on Library Field
Springfield-Delco HS v. Notre Dame Academy – 10:45 AM on Enke Field
Upper Dublin HS v. Villa Maria Academy – 12:30 PM on Rowland Field
Downingtown East v. Archbishop Carroll HS – 12:30 PM on Enke Field
Garnet Valley HS v. Baldwin School – 12:30 PM on Library Field
Methacton HS v. Merion Mercy Academy – 2:15 PM on Library Field
Conestoga HS v. Episcopal Academy – 2:15 PM on Rowland Field
Radnor HS v. Bryn Mawr School (MD) – 2:15 PM on Enke Field
Penn Charter v. The Hill School – 4:00 PM on Rowland Field
Haverford HS v. Germantown Academy – 4:00 PM on Library Field