Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/19/23
From Press Release
In some circles, Saturday April 22nd is revered as the greatest day of the season as Penncrest overflows with FUN. There is food, raffles, entertainment, prizes, face painting, merchandise sales, music, poem reading, demonstrations, and guest appearances. The fields are filled with players as young as kindergarten through high school alums, and neighboring teams are invited to partake in the competitions. There is a packed schedule of games – all. day. long.
It’s LAXAPALOOZA 2023!!!
The event supports the “NK Smiles Scholarship Fund”, awarded to deserving Penncrest seniors in memory of the late Norm Kelly, Jr., an elementary school teacher and coach. To date, over 70 seniors have been recipients of this honor. The scholarship became a positive light for so many who remember a kind and supportive friend who was taken by cancer far too early.
The festival was created by Jeff Pettit, Sr., founder of Rose Tree Optimist and the main event is lacrosse. Throughout the day, all Girls and Boys Rose Tree Optimist teams (students in K-8) play. Men AND Women’s Alumni are invited back to their alma mater to relive their glory days on the field. The Penncrest Girls & Boys JV and Varsity teams take turns on the turf at the Louis Scott Stadium; currently Penncrest’s varsity is undefeated at 10-0 after big wins over Strath Haven and Radnor.
But it’s so much more than that. It is a chance for our community to come together. Older players help referee or keep time at the younger player’s games. Children hang out with their peers. Volunteers reminisce and share stories about their pal Norm. Alums reconnect with former teammates. High school students and RTM staff sign up to take a shift at the snack bar. New bonds are formed. Generosity is abounding. Healthy rivalries are displayed on the fields. There are “SMILES” all around!
Prior to the event, an art contest is open to students and the top two winning entries are used as the t-shirt logo and cover of the program book. In the past, PHS Graphic Design Club would print out the shirts and create the ad booklet.
Optimist players are encouraged to wear their uniforms to school on Friday to kick off the weekend. This year, students in our “Linking Learning to Life” program are selling “smiley face” t-shirts to staff, and the Penncrest Gridiron members and football players have offered to organize and run the snack tent.
The Optimist Club of Media as well as the Penncrest Optimist Club are ready to help any way possible. This year they also look forward to welcoming back the Women’s Alumnae game… and will honor the Men’s Optimist “White Lion” 2022 Championship Team during halftime of the Men’s Alumni game.
Elementary and middle school students participating in “Poem in Your Pocket” are welcome to read their favorite rhyme or ballad to one of its volunteers at the stadium snack bar to receive a treat. There will be music. There will be food sales. Optimist games will start the day around 9 am, and Penncrest Boys Varsity will play the final game of the event, beginning at 7 pm.
High School Varsity Games:
Penncrest Girls vs. Methacton at 5:15 pm
For more information on the event, visit optimistlacrosse.com.