By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/13/16
It will be a special evening for remembrance, sharing times with old friends and plenty of laughs.
The Fifth Annual EVANFEST Lacrosse Banquet will be held on Thursday at Drexelbrook Catering in Drexel Hill – but along with the serious side, be prepared to chuckle or flat-out laugh out loud.
The EVANFEST banquet is always filled with laughs since the emcee is Hall of Famer Brian Dougherty, who could surely launch a career in comedy if he weren’t the head men’s lacrosse coach at Chestnut Hill College,
This year’s guest speaker – Joe Conklin – can lay claim to being one of the most popular comedians in the Philadelphia region, surely the Phily sports scene. Conklin is known for his impersonations of local athletes as well as national celebrities and makes guest appearances frequently on WIP 94.1 sports talk radio.
Conklin’s appeal fittingly honors a youth tournament and foundation in Evan Brady’s name that has raised just about $1 million in funds and helped more than 300 families with children that have life-threatening diseases.
Individual banquet tickets are $95; the event runs from, 6:30-9 p.m. Click here to purchase a ticket (by Tuesday, although walk-ins will be accepted). The first hour of the program features an open bar and social time as well as a large silent auction.
This event is a celebration of the Philadelphia Lacrosse Community and its dedication to recognizing the many ways the community assists in helping people’s lives off the field as well as on the field.
Evan Brady was a youth lacrosse standout who battled osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) for several years until passing away at the age of 19 in 2005. The 10th annual EVANFEST lacrosse festival will be held in April 2017 at Malvern Prep. EVANFEST draws more than 40 boys’ youth lacrosse teams in the U-15 and U-13 divisions.
The EVANFEST banquet is run and organized by a group of mostly Malvern Prep grads that went to school with Evan Brady or grew up with him. Evan’s father, Bill Brady, helped create EVANFEST. Event committee member Colin McGeehin said the speakers normally have lacrosse ties but noted that last year’s speaker, Penn basketball coach Fran Dunphy, was also special beacuse he was a Malvern Prep grad.
McGeehin said Conklin is a true Philly celebrity.
“We are lucky enough to get Joe Conklin,” said McGeehin. “Joe’s fantastic, he is incredibly dynamic and personable and has been really receptive about learning about EVANFEST. He has spoken to the Bradys a few times and he brings a little different perspective outside of the lacrosse community. He has had a ton of success and in this area his name is synonymous with sports talk entertainment.
“It will be a fun night.”
“Doc does a great job as the emcee every year; he is a fantastic character,” said McGeehin. “We expect between 175 and 200 people, which is great at this tough time of year just before Thanksgiving. It’s such a tight-knit community.”
McGeehin said the event’s contributions over 10 years are noteworthy.
‘It’s fantastic,” he said. “We are coming up to surpassing $1 million and it’s helped more than 300 families. These are significant and substantial grants and we are really proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish. We are grateful for the support through the network of the Malvern Prep community and the Penncrest community as well as friends and families that have been so supportive. It’s a real collective experience.”
Click here to donate to EVANFEST. Donations are accepted all year long.