Sticks for Soldiers Thanksgiving Lacrosse Classic
The 8th Annual Sticks for Soldiers Classic on Saturday November 30th 2013, raised over $100,000 during the Fall tournament and fundraising at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Fairfield, Conn.
Thanks to all for the efforts. 56 Teams, Thanks for your support!
Sticks For Soldiers is a non-profit charity lacrosse tournament held in Fairfield, Connecticut to raise money for wounded troops. The primary mission of this tournament is to provide support and give thanks to the service men and women who put their lives on the line and sacrificed for our country.
Raising money and creating awareness
A worthwhile secondary objective is create a mature awareness among high school athletes to the unseen sacrifices being made on their behalf by people just a few years older than themselves. Through their play and fund-raising participation, the athletes can demonstrate their tangible thanks and support.
Over $330,000 raised since 2006
The tournament, held always on Thanksgiving Saturday, has raised $225,000 in 7 years, and is an anticipated regional fall-ball competition. Varsity and sub-varsity teams from Tri- State area high schools will participate in a 7-on-7 tournament game format and each team will play at least 3 games. Team entry fees, T- shirt sales, silent auction, sponsors, raffles and private donations will be donated to this year's cause. The tournament usually will start at 9:00 am and conclude by approximately 3:30 pm with a mid-day ceremony to honor the beneficiaries.
2013 Tournament Honorees
The 2013 effort supported two deserving servicemen:
US Army Cpt. Benjamin Harrow and US Army Sps. Sean Pesce:
Captain Harrow , a 2005 graduate of West Point, originally from Brooklyn, New York and a 4- year letterman with Army Lacrosse, is a Special Forces Green Beret . During his second tour in Afghanistan just last May 2012, he stepped on an IED leading a patrol, resulting in amputation of both of his legs above the knee and severe damage to his right arm. He has earned 3 Bronze stars and a Purple Heart. Ben is married to his wife Gina and they have a 2 year old son, Peyton. They are living in Maryland, and he is currently undergoing therapy at Walter Reed.
Specialist Pesce, 20 years old, is a 2011 graduate of West Haven High School in West Haven Connecticut. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Army and completed the rigorous Ranger training, the Army's elite force. On October 12, 2012, he was wounded with small arms fire in an engagement with Afghan rebels (his Sgt was killed), and sustained major injuries through his abdomen: he lost his spleen, a kidney, and shattered vertebrae that also damaged his spinal cord. He has no feeling below the waist. He recovered from surgery and wounds first at Walter Reed, then Tampa VA Center, and finally at Mass VA hospital. He is working on coming home to his family in West Haven once his parent’s home can be modified for wheel chair accessibility
Past Tournament Honorees
- The 2012 tournament honored two Connecticut soldiers. US Amy Captain Greg Galeazzi, of Glastonbury, and USMC Sgt. Greg Caron of Ellington. They both are recovering from bi-lateral leg amputations and other critical injuries received in Afghanistan in 2011. 46 high school boys and girls lacrosse teams participated, and over $65,000 was raised, and net proceeds were presented to Greg and Greg in March 2013.
- The 2011 tournament honored three soldiers from Connecticut and
New York and raised over $50,000. The 2011 efforts supported three severely-injured servicemen: USMC Sgt. Liam Dwyer of Litchfield, Connecticut; Army Pfc. Josh Budd of Cheshire, Connecticut; and USAF Tech Sgt. Joe Wilkinson of Troy, New York. They each suffered injuries in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan or Operation Iraqi Freedom. read more about these fine men on the 2011 Honorees page
- In 2010, over $60,000 was raised. The funds raised were donated entirely toward the construction of a wheelchair accessible home for Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco of nearby Staten Island NY (see Brendan’s story on our page dedicated to Brendan). In December 2010, a group of Fairfield Ludlowe players had the opportunity to travel to Staten Island to meet with Brendan and to see first hand the construction of Brendan’s new home. Inside Lacrosse did featured article about the event which appeared in the Feburary issue. Click Here To View The Link
For more on Brendan’s Story please see the web page we have dedicated to Specialist Marrocco.
We can make a difference, and you can help
This is an all-volunteer effort. If interested in additional information, to donate, become a sponsor or to secure a team spot in this year's tournament, please contact Jim Tommins, S4S head and Tournament Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. or Mike Voucas, the tournament founder at email@example.com.