The 24-hour Shootout for Soldiers lacrosse event raises $50K to benefit wounded military members.
CANANDAIGUA — Twenty-four non-stop hours of lacrosse at Braves Stadium began with flags and a fanfare Saturday night, and by Sunday morning, it will still be going strong.
Shootout for Soldiers, a nationwide, multi-venue event to benefit wounded American military members, drew massive support in Canandaigua from area schools, lacrosse fans and veterans.
An opening ceremony at 6 p.m. featured the roaring engines of the Patriot Guard, the Highlander Pipe and Drum band, and comments from state Sens. Pam Helming and Rich Funke. Games were slated to continue through Saturday night and all day Sunday, with teams from Canandaigua, Marcus Whitman, Geneva, Palmyra-Macedon, Newark and Penn Yan expected to play.
School Superintendent Jamie Farr welcomed guests, and announced that the event had already exceeded its fundraising goal of $50,000. That money will support four national and two local charities, he said, including Team RWB, Ranger Lead the Way, Semper Fi Fund, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the Veterans Outreach Center and Blue Stars Mothers of Canandaigua.
“It’s the chosen spot for the chosen game,” Farr said.
CA boys lacrosse coach and event organizer Deven York said he is excited and thrilled.
“To me this is all about bringing the community together, and to see so many faces in the stands — so many kids and community members who aren’t even involved in the lacrosse program, that’s what is really exciting,” York said.
Pitching in alongside York were about 30 committee members and 50 volunteers, with special applause to Carrie Vierhile and John Isaac who “just went above and beyond through the whole process,” York said.
More than 30 local veterans were scheduled to suit up in the opening all-veterans game.
In particular, it was a big night for 12-year-old David Dube Jr. of Canandaigua, who took the opening face-off in honor of his dad. Dube’s father was very recently deployed overseas with the U.S. Marine Corps, and would likely have played had he been home.
Canandaigua is among the 12 national sites chosen for the event, including Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Long Island and California.
Shootout for Soldiers Executive Director Tyler Steinhardt said of all the events held nationwide, “nothing comes close to the crowd we’ve got here today and what we’re doing.”
“The community really stepped up and answered the bell,” said York.