Marple Newtown >> The second annual Shootout for Soldiers Philadelphia lacrosse event, held recently on Episcopal Academy’s Smith Field and organized by EA varsity lacrosse head coaches Chris Bates and Josie Ferri-Tomaino, raised $106,333.81.
“I have always had the utmost respect for our nation’s veterans and the sacrifices they have made for all of us to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy in our country,” said Bates. “It’s an honor to do a small part in supporting them.”
Lacrosse players of all ages played a continuous lacrosse game for 24 hours to raise money for the nation’s veterans.
“My son and daughter, through marriage, lost their father (a former teammate and friend) to a combat related illness, so it’s a cause that hits home and is an impactful way to honor John,” said Bates.
One of the event’s highlights was the Episcopal Academy staff vs. faculty and children game.
“Playing with and against friends and co-workers is a blast, but it’s especially fun with the littlest ones who are just getting their first thrills playing the game,” said Bates. “My favorite part is watching teams take their young players to each tent of the charities that Shootout for Soldiers supports. It’s a powerful reminder of why we all support this event. Raising money is certainly important, but the education and awareness of our next generation around the issues that our veterans face it so important.”
In May, Bates took members of the boys’ varsity team to the Delaware County Veterans Memorial for a Military Monday event.
“It’s a great opportunity anytime we can expose our youth to this great cause and the kind of people it benefits,” said Bates. “The students can’t help but be awed and humbled meeting veterans from various wars, including World War II and the Korean War. It’s a priceless perspective that is only gained through interacting with those who have served.”
This year’s event more than doubled last year’s total.
“Shootout for Soldiers Philly was a huge success,” said Bates. “We are honored to host the event at Episcopal and are ecstatic to have raised so much money in support of our nation’s veterans. It’s no surprise that the Philadelphia lacrosse community rallied to support such a wonderful cause. We can’t wait for next year!”