Shootout for Soldiers Boston Raises $67,000+ for Veteran Charities!

By: Brent Greenberg

On a warm Friday evening at around 6:30, you could feel the excitement in the air for the veteran’s game to begin at UMass Lowell. Even though he had set a goal of improving on last year’s total of $56,586 raised, SFS Boston Organizer Colonel Mike Sullivan wasn’t focused on the amount of money raised when asked how the event went.

“What an incredible 24 hours at UMass Lowell!  From the start with a hard-fought Veteran’s Game to all the incredible family games played,” said Sully. “The passion and support New England once again showed for our Veterans couldn’t make the entire team prouder!”

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As both fields were going before the clock struck midnight, eyes wandered back and forth to see both games. Going from watching “Older School” to see a more experienced game, or “The Referees” to see if the men dressed in stripes could not only call a game but play it as well.

Pete Kloster, who not only coached his kids but played as well, may have said it best. “Watching the veteran’s game last night was inspirational. If that doesn’t get you off your butt to want to help out, I don’t know what will.” Pete logged about three hours of participation at the event but that didn’t stop him from watching some of our nation’s heroes enjoy the game we all love. Shootout for Soldiers is one of those rare events where you not only get to participate in the event, but you have the opportunity to see who you are helping as well.

One incredible story in the veteran’s game was Calvin Todd, who stood tall in the cage for the Stars with his prosthetic. Saving shot after shot and moving with what seemed like no hesitation, Army Spc. Todd is an inspiration to all who need to find some motivation for what they are doing.

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As we neared night and the skies darkened, rain began to pour down off and on. It’s only fitting as nearly every event this summer has seen rain in some shape or form. The rain could have possibly led to a slightly lower attendance than usual, but maybe the midnight hours were an ode to the inaugural SFS Boston as it seemed more like an open hour from 12-6am. Beginning with a stick swap game, we saw boys and girls trading sticks and play a fun game in the pouring rain. Following the conclusion of these games, people were asking to play more and more because they were having so much fun at the once-a-year opportunity to play the medicine game after midnight.As the sun rose over the field in Lowell, Mass, it was time for the fundraising leaders to take the field. Frankie and his father are in their third year at the event and raised over $10,000 as a team. As they played for two hours, we saw people of all ages from 5 to 60 suiting up to participate.

Charlie Gressett of the Gary Sinise Foundation has a unique story. He travels around the country going to all of our events to take pictures for one of our national partner charities. He’s been to SFS Boston since the beginning and said “It’s good to see it keep growing and I can’t wait until it gets bigger and bigger.” SFS Boston 2017 raised a total of $67,701, which puts the total from the three SFS Boston events to a number larger than $150,000. And as we wish Sully a safe deployment to the Middle East, it only seems fitting to make sure it grows larger for when he gets back.

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