By Bradley Schlegel
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/4/15
Bill Brady says his oldest son would probably object to having his name in the title of Sunday’s youth lacrosse fundraising tournament at Malvern Prep.
“Evan would not want to be in the forefront of this event,” Brady said. “But he would probably be here, sitting at the top of the stands, watching all the games.”
Evanfest is a youth boys’ lacrosse festival in memory of Evan Brady, a standout youth player who died 10 years ago of osteogenic sarcoma months after graduating from Malvern Prep. Evenfest 2015 featured 38 teams aged 5th through 8th grade from Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties as well as Delaware and New Jersey.
“The important thing is keeping my brother’s memory alive and raising a lot of money for a good cause,” said Drew Brady, one of more than 100 volunteers working the festival. “Evan was a huge supporter of lacrosse. He really loved it.”
According to Bill Brady, the ninth annual event was expected to raise between $50,000 and $60,000 for the foundation, which aids families with a child battling a life-threatening disease.
In nine years, the foundation has directly donated more than $800,000 to approximately 200 families, Bill Brady said.
He said the intent of each award is to help families cover the incidental costs – which can include hospital parking, food and lodging or paying the expenses created by a parent giving up a job to become a full-time caretaker – of having a child who is undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatment or other treatment.
“This is bittersweet,” Bill Brady said. “It makes me happy to help so many families. But I would give anything to have my son.”
Evan Brady could have become one of the best lacrosse players in the country, according to Chris Marcozzi, a Mavern Prep classmate and friend.
“The sky was the limit,” said Marcozzi, who played against Evan Brady in area youth leagues. “He had great physical skills, and the right attitude. Evan was such a smart player.”
However, Evan Brady never got to compete for the Friars. According to Bill Brady, his son suffered a bruise on his right leg playing lacrosse in the spring of 2001.
He said the swelling and discoloration went away, but the pain remained. In August, as a freshman on Malvern Prep’s football team, he got hurt again.
“Evan came home and said couldn’t walk,” Bill Brady said.
Evan Brady’s diagnosis quickly followed. Doctors discovered cancer in his right femur.
Serving as a volunteer coach for Malvern Prep’s lacrosse team, Evan Brady successfully mentored the younger players waiting to make an impact, according to Marcozzi, a goalkeeper with the Friars who played at Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster.
“Evan always knew the right thing to say,” Marcozzi said. “He always had a smile on his face.”
According to Drew Brady, his older brother’s outlook improved as his health deteriorated. Drew said Evan adopted a more positive overall approach.
“Evan was pretty positive about everything,” Drew Brady said.
For more information on Evenfest visit http://evanfest.com/