By: Sara Stanley
“We have to bring this to the Academy,” the Director of Operations of the Episcopal Academy said to CJ, as they strolled through the Baltimore event last summer.
Shootout for Soldiers is coming to the Philadelphia area for the first time in history. CJ Lauer describes himself as the “driving force for bringing SFS to the Episcopal Academy and the Philadelphia community.”
CJ first got involved with SFS when he played in the inaugural Baltimore event. The following two years, he involved himself with the logistics side of events, working at McDonogh.
“I love the atmosphere,” CJ explains, “Seeing my team’s interaction with Veterans, watching the other games, meeting people involved, having the mix of ages of everyone playing is great to watch.” After participating in every aspect of our events: playing, coaching, and spectating, he knew that he had the perfect venue and community for a Shootout for Soldiers.
CJ’s passion for SFS and our cause inspired him to bring the event to Philly. “There is not enough support, and there can never be enough support, for our Veterans. I really love what it stands for.” This passion and dedication to the game and the cause drives his team’s fundraising.
The team, planning on playing in both the Baltimore and the Philly events, has been “dying and stringing heads for our community since last fall.” CJ’s fundraising plan is steered by getting his teammates to understand what this event is all about. This year, CJ has an interesting approach to motivate his teammates to fundraise: “I try to carve out time in our practices to bring out Veterans and have them talk about their service and what it means to be in the military.”
When asked about what he is most looking forward to going into this year’s Shootout for Soldiers event, CJ explained how he is excited to just “see the event happen and kick off.” He continued, “Obviously, we would love to bring in a huge amount of money, but just to get one event under our belt and get the word out to grow it bigger for the next year. Philly is a community that gets behind events like this.”
To learn more about CJ and his team, check out their fundraising page at https://fundraise.shootoutforsoldiers.com/fundraise/team?ftid=107321.