By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/30/17
Here is just one more example of how Philly can support a cause in its lacrosse community.
Thursday night, Episcopal Academy kicked off the inaugural Philly Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour lacrosse event that raises money for soldiers through a variety of programs. Events in other cities have raised over $1.5 million since 2012 for charities that honor soldiers.
Now in 12 cities, Shootout for Soldiers has quickly made its mark in Philly.
The games began at 7 p.m. with 24 1-hour games which involve teams that must fundraise to participant. One special game Thursday featured a Summer Lacrosse League of Southeastern PA showdown between Mesa Fresh and GMH, the only game that lasted more than an hour and was played on the lower field.
Mesa won the game, 13-11, before a large crowd that was also attracted to an event that had live music, food trucks and plenty of swag in a carnival-like atmosphere.
But there were many winners for this event – Shootout for Soldiers Founder and Executive Director Tyler Steinhardt happily noted that more than $60,000 has been raised – more than $10,000 over the original goal of $50,000.
“Its been absolutely incredible,” said Steinhardt. “We crossed $60,000; there is live music and food trucks. This is probably one of best atmospheres we have had in any of our events. This (fundraising amount) is going to be higher than some of our events that have been around for years.
“It’s really incredible and speaks to the testament of the Philadelphia lacrosse community. Even today we already raised a few thousand more dollars.”
“I have to tip my hat off to (EA event directors) CJ Lauer (Associate Director of Facilities) and Chris Bates (boys’ lacrosse coach) for steering the whole thing and a few others. It’s a big rarity to have such a great atmosphere. I am humbled about Philly; we probably should have come here earlier.”
“It was cool to come out here and play the sport we love,” said Mesa’s Timmy Brooks (Haverford School, Cabrini), who had four goals. “And to see it played for 24 hours straight is great. We get to do two great things, play lacrosse and raise money for a good cause. It’s great to be a a part of it.”
Mesa (3-0) – the defending SLLSEPA champion – led the entire game way and got strong goaltending from Alex de Marco (Haverford School, Penn) and Colin Reder (Episcopal Academy, UNC).
“We just played smart lacrosse; the defense played great,” said Brooks. “It was awesome to have six poles; six-on-six lacrosse is tough with six poles. We did a good job of pushing transition, finishing opportunities and hitting our shots.
“It’s great to play the sport we love and associate it with a great cause. Everybody wins.”
GMH goalie Frankie McCarthy (Ridley, Mount St. Mary’s), who had 10 saves, said the event was special.
“This is an awesome event and I love that we were invited here to play in our summer league game,” he said. “It’s a pretty good rivalry between us and Mesa and it’s always fun to play them.
“To get this kind of crowd out here for a fundraiser is great. I was unaware it (Shootout for Soldiers) had grown so much in the past couple years. Obviously, it is becoming a nationwide thing, playing in Baltimore (where ti was launched) and all over.”
McCarthy vowed that GMH will be ready if there is a rematch in the playoffs.
“It’s always fun to play those guys,” he said. “Obviously, it stinks being on the losing end of things. Yeah, they have a great team that is well coached, but we’ll get them back.”
The games have featured teams of all ages, male and female. Teams had to fundraise a minimum of $750 to participate.
Funds from this event will go to The Travis Manion Foundation and the Delaware County Veterans Memorial. Shootout for Soldiers also supports four other national charities. Fans and supporters can donate money through the players’ individual fundraising pages.
Anyone interested should click here to register: https://fundraise.shootoutforsoldiers.com/checkout/register?eid=118528&ftid=123764.
The Venue: 1785 Bishop White Drive, Newtown Square, PA 19073
Rain won’t stop Shootout for Soldiers! If it rains, they keep playing. If there are more severe storms, they will take a 15-minute advisory break.
Social media: Twitter: Tag @SFSLacrosse and @SFSPhiladelphia on Tweets and use the hashtag #SFSPhiladelphia or #ShootoutForSoldiers to share your memories!
Follow along all 24 hours of the event by adding the event on snapchat at SFSLAX and following it on Instagram at @Shootoutforsoldiers.
ABOUT SHOOTOUT FOR SOLDIERS:
Started by a group of high school students in Maryland, Shootout for Soldiers is a 24-hour lacrosse game benefiting our nation’s heroes. The mission of Shootout for Soldiers is to use the platform of lacrosse to engage communities with their local veterans and support their healthy and successful transition into civilian life. By raising more than $1.5 million since its inception in 2012, To learn more, please visit www.ShootoutForSoldiers.com or follow @SFSLacrosse on Twitter.