By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/16/09
Twenty-six youth boys’ lacrosse teams will participate in an all-day benefit tournament to raise money for families with children who have life-threatening diseases in the Third Annual Evanfest Saturday at Malvern Prep.
The event honors the memory of Evan Brady, a Malvern Prep graduate who died Sept. 21, 2005, following a long and relentless fight against osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer).
Each team will play three games with two 20-minute halves; games begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. The teams are in the U-13 and U-15 divisions are come from the Philadelphia suburbs and Delaware.
Last year the event as well as other fund-rising efforts helped bring in over $95,000. In all, overall $150,000 has been raised; all of it goes directly to the families in need through a special foundation created by Evan’s father, Bill Brady.
Brady said that donations are down slightly this year, but that the tough economy is mostly to blame. He added, though, that several other projects may help Evanfest equal last year’s totals.
For one thing, Dickinson College quarterback Ian Mitchell – a childhood friend of Evan’s – has raised over $20,000 the past year for Evanfest through sponsorships. Mitchell has been asking for donations for every yard he gains through the air or the ground for the Red Devils’ football team.
Brady also said that sales of t-shirts have blossomed in colleges throughout the country. Friends of Evan who are playing lacrosse are selling t-shirts now in 26 colleges, and that fund drive could net over $7,000.
What’s more, Evanfest is expecting get a large donation from the Good Sports charity benefit, a local drive run by 12 local individuals each year to raise money for foundations in the area. Brady said that 40 families have received benefits through Evanfest in three years.
Brady said a major goal of Evanfest is to raise awareness for childhood cancer. He believes the t-shirt drive is a major project that will only grow. The project was started last year and many improvements were made in the fall and winter to the t-shirts, and many more players came on board.
“I think we’ve laid the groundwork for years to come with the college t-shirt drive,” Brady said. “We changed design of shirt, and a lot of the kids think it’s great.
“The t-shirt is selling itself. We put more color in; now it’s royal blue with yellow and silver lettering. The design is pretty sharp. We’ll probably sell 1,400-to-1,500 t-shirts this year.”
For more information on Evanfest, go to the foundation website at evanfest.com
For previous coverage of Evanfest at Phillylacrosse.com, click here
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