Teams will play lacrosse around the clock starting at Canandaigua Academy starting Saturday night to raise money for U.S. military veterans
Months of planning and anticipation finally unfolds into reality this weekend for the Shootout for Soldiers lacrosse event at Canandaigua Academy.
With an opening ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. featuring the Patriot Guard, a bagpipe band and comments from state senator Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, the first faceoff of the first game is at 7 p.m. It kicks off the 24-hour event designed to raise funds and awareness for U.S. military veterans. Canandaigua was chosen to host the event and is one of 12 national sites that includes Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Long Island and California among others.
“I’m really pleased,” said Deven York, boys lacrosse coach at CA. “For a small-market area, we’re full with teams and it looks like we’ll reach our financial goal. And to do it in Canandaigua is a testament to the good Americans who live here.”
Twenty-four one-hour games are on the docket with teams from Canandaigua, Newark, Palmyra-Macedon, Wayne, Marcus Whitman, Geneva, Penn Yan among the registered.
Games will be played at Braves Stadium behind the Academy, with plenty of parking available off the North Road entrance, and around the Academy. There is no charge for admission to watch games, but donations are welcome.
The 24 games combine to form one full game — between the Stars and Stripes — and score will continue from game to game. The 7 p.m. game is for veterans and active duty personnel only.
The event will benefit four national charities _ Team RWB, Ranger Lead the Way, Semper Fi Fund and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Locally, the Veterans Outreach Center and Blue Stars Mothers of Canandaigua will benefit from proceeds.
“In the end, it’s not really all about the money,” said York. “It’s about community engagement. We’d like to get as many people as we can here to honor our troops and say thanks … none of us really understand the sacrifice a veteran makes when they give their service to our country.”
Beyond the actual games, there will be plenty more to take in. A series of bounce houses will be set up for kids, along with a large outdoor movie screen and a fastest shot contest and face painting. A mechanical bull will be set up, military recruiters will be on hand and food trucks will offer a variety of dining options.
On Sunday, three clinics will take place. Brad Gillies of the Rochester Knighthawks is scheduled for 10 a.m., Drew Simoneau of the Rochester Rattlers is at noon and at 1:30, Ben Reeves, a Palmyra-Macedon graduate who was a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist at Yale University and is part of the tryout process with the U.S. men’s national team, will conduct a clinic.