Meredith Murphy has been a part of the Shootout for Soldiers Ohio since its first event last summer, when she stayed for a rainy Opening Ceremony, through the Veterans Game, and for the Closing Ceremony and check presentation at the close of the 24-hour event. Murphy got involved when her husband Jason Dote, who coaches and plays lacrosse, was asked to coach and organize a team for their oldest daughter, Madison.
When the Dotes learned that there were a small number of teams registered for the first annual Shootout for Soldiers, they decided to take action. Between Jason and his children, Madison, Sawyer and Layton, the family played more than seven hours of lacrosse.
When Layton’s 1st/2nd grade team did not have enough people to play during its timeslot, Meredith suggested that the hour should become a Daddy/Daughter game. Jason played with both Madison and Layton, and his 2-year-old daughter Murphy even went out to play with them. “It turned out to be such a fun and family-friendly way for all of these young girls and their parents to raise money for our veterans, while sharing the game they all love,” Meredith said. “It was such a special moment for our girls and Jason”.
This year, Meredith wanted to get even more involved. Shortly after the 2015 Ohio event, she reached out to Shootout for Soldiers Ohio organizer Merry Troper. “She welcomed me to participate and we have been working to try to spread the word, raise money, get teams involved, etc. ever since,” Meredith explained. She has been preparing for the event in several ways. “I’ve had the opportunity to work tailgates at Ohio Machine games, spread the word and sell apparel at local lacrosse tournaments, reach out to local businesses for donations for our silent auction and raffle, and, of course, get my family’s teams on board and ready for this summer’s event,” she said. “Right now, we are playing/coaching for 5 teams for Shootout for Soldiers Ohio. With luck, we will find another sponsor and make it 6!”
“Once we finished our first Shootout for Soldiers, as a family, we couldn’t stop talking about what an incredible experience it was and how we hoped it would come back again,” Meredith said. “I feel very blessed that I have the opportunity to help give back to our wounded veterans through the game that my family loves. My father is a Vietnam veteran and his father was a WWII veteran. I have always had great respect, admiration and love for all of the service men and women that work so selflessly to provide and protect my freedom. Working with the Shootout for Soldiers to give back through the game of lacrosse is the least I can do.”