By: RJ Kaminski
Maryland residents Michelle Railey, Chris McGovern, both 47, have pledged to raise over $50,000 and partake in all 24 hours of the Shootout for Soldiers event benefiting wounded American veterans.
“I’ll be playing and she’ll be playing at one point in every [lacrosse] game,” McGovern said.
McGovern, Senior VP at All Risks Ltd., played in all 24 hours of last year’s Shootout for Soldiers event in Baltimore, fundraising a total of $24,800.
“It wasn’t as bad as it might sound,” he said. “I played in every hour for 20-25 minutes. And I used the other half hour to drink water or Gatorade.”
For the first handful of hours, SFS volunteers from last year described him as the “tall guy dripping sweat” before they knew who he was and learned the method behind the madness. Now in 2015, he has decided to bring along a fellow classmate and lacrosse player from Loyola College to help him conquer the $50,000 fundraising mountain he set.
“Chris and I have coached our daughters TLC teams for the last six years,” said Railey, a stay at home mom with three children.
“This is the least we can do to support soldiers who have put down their lives for us.” -Michelle Railey
In preparation for this lax marathon, McGovern has been sticking to his “normal workout” and Railey has been shooting around with her girls’ team. “I haven’t played organized lacrosse in about 20 years so…it should be interesting,” Railey said.
McGovern and Railey also challenged their 2017 TLC lacrosse team to help with these efforts. The TLC Reds, a girls’ club team out of Towson, has been doing their part to support their two coaches who’ve supported them for years. “We challenged all the girls to go out and raise money from their grandparents, their neighbors…I think the first year [they] raised $1,700 and I think [they’re] close to $2,000 this year,” McGovern said.
The fundraising numbers have been stellar for McGovern, but his body certainly felt the effects of the exhausting feat last year. “The biggest problem I had was after 8 or 9 hours, the muscles started cramping up,” he said. “I pulled both hamstrings.”
“I’m coming loaded this year with Bengay,” he chuckled.
Railey, explaining a bit of her fundraising strategy, said, “I’ve reached out to family, friends, and people I know who would want to support causes that support the soldiers.”
McGovern has reached out to local Baltimore businesses to sponsor him for each hour. “I have a fair amount of clients doing that at $100 an hour and I [also] have one to do it at $200 an hour,” he said.
Besides McGovern’s father serving in the armed forces, he and Railey have no deep-rooted connections to anyone in military. So, where does their motivation to pull off this unique fundraising performance come from?
“I just have a tremendous amount of respect for the people who keep our country safe,” McGovern said.
“These guys are out there fighting for our freedom… I don’t think it gets any better than that.” -Chris McGovern
Railey and McGovern, based on their experience last year, are most looking forward to the first game of the 24-hour set.”
“I was blown away by the veterans’ game last year,” McGovern said. “It was just so incredible to me to see one of the goalies with a prosthetic leg…one of the guys with a [carbon fiber] blade. It really was a humbling experience just to be with those guys and I’m looking forward to that again.”
You can donate or sponsor Chris McGovern and Michelle Railey on their team fundraising page by clicking HERE.
“These guys are out there on the front lines putting their lives at risk so we can do what we want to do,” McGovern said. “I don’t think there’s anymore of a worthy cause.”