By Justin Farrell
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/13/14
Kevin Kinsella described Evan Brady as a leader and role model to all.
“The two words I would use to describe Evan Brady are caring and selfless,” said Kinsella, a 2005 Malvern Prep graduate and teammate of Evan. “It was never about him, it was always about you and how you were doing.”
Once a year on a Saturday in April, dozens of youth lacrosse teams make the trip to the campus of Malvern Prep and take part in a tournament called Evanfest. It celebrates Evan’s life and raises money that goes directly to families with a child battling a life threatening disease.
Evan Brady was a graduate of Malvern Prep who lost his fight with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) on September 21, 2005. He was a youth lacrosse standout who was unable to play high school lacrosse due to his disease, but remained oin the sport by serving as a coach and mentor to many.
In its eighth year, the tourney has grown from 22 to the 45 squads (grades 6, 7 and 8) that competed Saturday. The tournament has continued to grow because of the interest teams take in it and the cause it is played for.
The Malvern Prep community deserves a lot of the credit, according to Bill Brady, Evan’s father and the event founder. “Malvern gives us full use of everything and we couldn’t do it without them,” he said.
The tournament could also not be run without the help of volunteers who aren’t paid and just lend a helping hand because they simply want to be involved. From parents to students to players to former players there were almost almost 200 people helping Saturday.
“It is an honor to be working it,” said Kinsella. “Evan was one the most selfless guys I knew and it was always about how you were and never about him.”
The tourney has raised $750,000, which has gone to assist 175 families. Evan’s father said he would not want the event to be about him, but about helping others.
“Evan wouldn’t want to be watching, he would want to be playing,” Bill Brady said. “He is looking down on this and saying to himself that this is awesome.”
Kinsella said that the joy of youth lacrosse is special to anyone that saw Evan play as a youngster. “This tournament brings back memories of Evan and the kid he was,” he said.