By: Hooper Neale
Shootout for Soldiers events would not run as smoothly as they do if it were not for the help of the many volunteers who sacrifice their time to help the cause. In some cases, these volunteers go above and beyond. At this summer’s Shootout for Soldiers Texas, two volunteers, Charley Reagan and Lucas Montes, did just that.
Reagan is a college junior who has played lacrosse for 11 years and has always loved volunteering. For him, the Shootout for Soldiers is a perfect mix of the two. “I heard about the Shootout for Soldiers event back when it first started and I decided then that I really wanted to be a part of it,” he said. “Because who doesn’t want to play lacrosse or help at a lacrosse event for 24 hours? At least that was my initial reaction. Later I realized that it would benefit those in the military and I wanted even more to help make Shootout for Soldiers a success.”
Being from New Hampshire, Reagan did not know if he would have a chance to participate in a Shootout for Soldiers event, but when he got an internship in Houston this summer, he knew that this was his chance to do so. On Friday night of the Texas event, he volunteered from 5 pm to 9 pm and then came back in the morning at 6 am to work the apparel tent, the concessions booth and the field logistics. He also got to play some lacrosse! At the end of the event he ran the scoreboard, tallying the final score, and he then watched the closing ceremonies.
“I was surprised to say the least when I found out that the Houston event had raised more than $30,000, as the event itself was fairly small and it was the first year for it to be in Houston!” Reagan said.
He even stayed at the event on Saturday far past the closing ceremonies in order to help everyone pack up. In total, he volunteered for around 19 hours.
Unlike Reagan, Montes had not been familiar with the Shootout for Soldiers for years. He had never heard of the organization until he saw an online advertisement for the Texas event. For Montes, it was exciting to see a lacrosse presence in Texas.
“Texas only has two main cities that play dominant lacrosse, and those are Houston and Dallas,” he said. “So I was very excited to see that this year they were going to have [the Shootout for Soldiers] in the Woodlands. I knew that this was the type of event I wanted to help with. Lacrosse is still dominated by the east coast. I hope that in the future, playing lacrosse would be something that is played as a normal sport all across the US.”
Montes volunteered for six hours on Friday night and then came back on Saturday to help once more. He kept time for the games, which allowed him to constantly be watching the action on the field. He also helped with giving players their jerseys, which he enjoyed because it gave him the opportunity to interact with those players.
The Shootout for Soldiers team was extremely grateful for the support these two volunteers provided, and Montes said he feels the same way about them. “It was really fun, and the people who are part of this program really help the new volunteers settle, and let them know what exactly is needed to get accomplished, and I appreciate that,” he said.