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Spring-Ford celebrates life of fallen family member, prevails in Pink Out game

The Spring-Ford lacrosse program knows what it’s like to lose.

It suffered a profound loss on March 30 when Corrine Hare, 14, died after a two-year battle with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

The Hare family — headed by parents Steve and Maria — may be the ‘first family’ of Spring-Ford lacrosse, with the Hare name a fixture on the Rams’ roster, including oldest son Ian (2013), past Mercury All-Area Players of the Year Zach (2015) and Liam (2016) and current senior Gavin, as well as Corrine’s twin brother Shane, who plays 8th grade lacrosse.

Corrine, the lone daughter of the Hare’s six children who also played lacrosse and basketball, became the best known of all through her courage, spirit and wisdom amid her cancer struggle. She displayed a determined attitude at every hurdle and maintained her warm smile all of her days.

“It didn’t matter if it was during chemo, after chemo, feeling like garbage, there was always something she found to smile about no matter where she was in her treatment,” Maria Hare said. “That will be the biggest thing people will remember about her, that she always, always had a smile.”

Spring-Ford sixth grader Bobby Palladino wears a pink #CorrineStrong shirt while being a ball runner for the Spring-Ford vs. Springside-Chestnut Hill boys lacrosse game on the Rams’ Pink Out night Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The Spring-Ford boys lacrosse team and its supporters found reason to smile Wednesday night as part of its Pink Out game to honor Corrine and raise up cancer awareness in a matchup against non-league Springside-Chestnut Hill. Peyton Gensler starred with a five-goal, one-assist night in the Rams’ 11-6 victory while Gavin Hare, Corrine’s brother, supplied the highlight of the night with his laser second-quarter goal that set off a feel good celebration for everyone in Coach McNelly Stadium.

“It was an emotional night with the Pink Out, remembering Corrine, and our guys were ready, focused and they played intense through most of that game,” Spring-Ford coach Kevin Donnelly said.
Pink ‘#CorrineStrong’ T-shirts and socks were sold as well as baked goods to raise money for a college scholarship in Corrine’s name.

The Rams (8-3) broke out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter and led 6-1 on Hare’s big goal. Springside-Chestnut Hill (2-8), of the Inter-Ac League, closed to within 6-3 at halftime and made a game of it on CJ Sweitzer’s third goal to get within 9-6 with 8:41 remaining. But Gensler’s sneak attack from behind the goal got the Rams on the right course before a Gensler steal in the SCH end turned into a Marenger goal for the capper.

Spring-Ford’s Jarrod Marenger (33) tries to work around the Springside-Chestnut Hill defense. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The result sent the Spring-Ford community home happy after rallying admirably around the #CorrineStrong campaign, supporting the Hare family both monetarily and spiritually.

“We can’t say enough about the support we’ve received,” Steve Hare said. “Family, friends, neighbors, the entire lacrosse family, people that we’ve never even met, the support has been overwhelming and we’re very appreciative.”

The support extended beyond the Spring-Ford community, with the entire Springside-Chestnut Hill team buying #CorrineStrong T-shirts they wore under their jerseys Wednesday night, or Liam Hare’s St. Joseph’s men’s lacrosse team or the Lansdale Catholic girls’ lacrosse team that have aided the cause, to name a few.

A ‘Corrine Strong’ college scholarship is in the works with the intent of seeing future students follow Corrine’s dream.

“It will be for a student-athlete who is going into the medical field,” Maria Hare said. “Her goal was to become a nurse so we wanted to honor that and open it up to any athlete going into the medical profession.”

Beyond the scholarship, Corrine Hare’s legacy will be about her positive spirit.

“I think she was always a happy kid, but she developed a toughness once she got the diagnosis and she basically had the attitude of, ‘I’m going to do whatever I can to beat this,’” Steve Hare said. “She fought like a champ right to the end.”

For more information on Corrine Hare and the Corrine Strong scholarship, search ‘Corrine Strong – It’s Go Time’ on Facebook or go to http://www.gofundme.com/corrinestrong

Spring-Ford’s Peyton Gensler tries to get past a Springside-Chestnut Hill defender during Wednesday’s Pink Out game. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

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