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Holiday cheer: Central Bucks Lightning lacrosse program gives back to community

Saturday, 27th November 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, Club, Features, Youth  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 11/27/10

The Central Bucks Lightning Lacrosse program has learned the value of playing lacrosse extends off the field as well.

Earlier this month the youth lacrosse program of the non-profit Central Bucks Athletic Association, announced it was awarding nearly $37,000 to the community, using net proceeds from its annual Irish Skirmish Youth Lacrosse Tournament.

On November 13, a celebration event was held at the Cold Spring Elementary School in Buckingham. The Central Bucks Lightning Lacrosse players presented the awards themselves with the primary recipient – the Cardiac Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – receiving $20,000.

(Click on a photo to begin slideshow; captions are at bottom of story)

Other recipients included:
• The Doylestown Community Food Pantry (3,200 pounds of food);
• A Woman’s Place (Doylestown shelter);
• Roxy Reading (Doylestown therapy dog service).

The Irish Skirmish was created to honor the memory of popular CBAA coach Brian Riley, who passed away in 2005.

CBAA volunteer Josh Powers, an 8th grader at Tohickon Junior High in Doylestown, said he has learned to appreciate what he has by helping others.

“This has helped me to learn that others aren’t as good off as me and my friends,” he said. “It’s a good thing to give your time to someone less fortunate and to make someone else’s day brighter.”

Powers, who has played lacrosse for eight years, said the Irish Skirmish has become a major event to bring youth lacrosse and community service together. He said he and others had to load two trucks to bring the 4,000 pounds of food to the pantry.

“Every year I’ve played lacrosse I’ve played in the Irish Skirmish,” he said. “We get together with a bunch of friends. It’s not a summer team. You have a lot of fun while playing for a good cause at the same time.”

Irish Skirmish tourney director Kevin Milici said the tournament was developed to teach the players about the lessons of teamwork.

“In the process of learning the game of lacrosse, and developing skills, our program strives to instill some life-enduring lessons of teamwork and character,” said Milici. “The Skirmish has a single intent, to contribute to the opportunity that every child who plays lacrosse becomes even a better person than they are a player.”

Milici said that 100 percent of the net proceeds of the Skirmish go back to the community.

“If we can get our kids to connect the dots between participating in this wonderful sport, their own habits and awareness for a healthy lifestyle, and to look into the eyes of and make a direct link with people they can help … it gets no better,” said Milici.

The first Irish Skirmish was held in April 2006. Traditionally, it takes place on the last weekend of April at the Herbst Sports Complex in Pipersville. On April 24-25, 2010, the sold out fifth annual Irish Skirmish took place, with these statistics:

• Nearly 100 boys’ and girls’ teams participated
• Over 141 games were played;
• Approximately 2,200 players competed;
• An estimated 5,000 people in total were present at the tournament site over the 2-day period,

Powers is pleased that the Irish Skirmish perpetuates Riley’s legacy.

“It’s good to know we’re doing it for a good cause and that we’re giving back in his name,” Powers said. “I’d think he’d be very happy.

“By getting together and giving back, it shows what a good team sport lacrosse is and what he did for the community.”

The 2011 Irish Skirmish will be held from April 30-May 1.

Image 1
Players from CB Lightning Lacrosse, along with Beth Riley and her family, present an award of $20,000 to representatives of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cardiac Center at the Irish Skirmish Celebration on November 13. CHOP was the recipient of the largest award. The monies will specifically aid the department of Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy in the Cardiac Center, helping kids and their families prepare for and deal with the stresses of heart surgery.

Image 2
At the ACME Markets in Doylestown, Irish Skirmish Food Frenzy quarterback Peggy DelBrocco instructs Central Bucks Lightning Lacrosse players prior to embarking on their mission of mayhem. With shopping carts in hand, players were tasked with purchasing designated items on behalf of the Doylestown Community Food Pantry. The mission was completed successfully, with players purchasing over $3,000 worth of food, totally 3,200 lbs., with a receipt that was over 12 feet long, in less than 60 minutes.

Image 3
Eighth grader Josh Powers flies a solo mission at the ACME Market in Doylestown.

Image 4
Central Bucks Lightning Lacrosse alumni Matt Schmidt helps unload $3,200 worth of food at the Doylestown Community Food Pantry, to his teammate, Cameron Price. The food was purchased by Central Bucks players as part of their award of $4,500 to the Doylestown Food Pantry at the Irish Skirmish Food Frenzy on November 13. It will help feed homeless and needy families during the holiday season.

Image 5
Central Bucks Lightning alumni Richard Hartung (left) and Matt Milici demonstrate teamwork in getting the job done with speed and accuracy.

Image 6
Central Bucks Lightning Lacrosse players and their parents take a break during their deliverY of food to the Doylestown Community Food Pantry.


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