By: Charley Reagan
“Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I am king.”
If you were to hear the term ‘Army of Darkness’, you’d probably first think of the third installment of the Evil Dead Series. However, while that is where they draw their inspiration from, the Army of Darkness we are talking about is a group of lacrosse players from the Northern Virginia and Maryland areas, who currently lead the Shootout For Soldiers’ fundraising effort!
Originally named Angry Pete’s Armada in reference to their leader Angry Pete, today’s Army of Darkness is led by Dan Tisinger. Dan and his team came up with their new name due to their previous Shootout For Soldiers time slots being in the dark during the late night hours of each event.
The Army of Darkness, which shares a deep passion for the Evil Dead films, makes sure that each player on the team has seen the movies before participating in SFS. The team is usually comprised of 40 guys from the region, that not only share a passion for comedic-horror films, but an even deeper passion for supporting our military.
Army of Darkness, who is set to play in a dual slot this year, has deep military ties which makes Shootout For Soldiers an easy cause for them to fundraise for. Tisinger, who has been active duty Navy for 19 years and was deployed to Iraq in 2007, loves that he can combine his work and pride in the military with his passion for lacrosse. “It’s infectious,” says Dan, “Looking at last year, Charlie Grissett, the Gary Sinise Foundation representative was at every event. It becomes a part of your summer routine. You begin to plan around Shootout For Soldiers and block-off dates on your calendar for it.”
Military appreciation also runs deep in the team’s leading fundraiser, Kevin Henry. Kevin, who grew up in the Jersey Shore area, played club lacrosse at George Mason University and has many family members that are, in some way, connected to the military. In fact, most of the men on his dad’s side of the family made the choice to serve our country. “It’s an easy fundraiser to promote. We’re fundraising to support our Veterans, and being able to play lacrosse is just a great byproduct of that,” says Kevin.
Army of Darkness is dedicated to their fundraising efforts so much so that some of the guys have taken to competing amongst themselves. A few weeks ago, one of the team’s other top fundraisers challenged his friends, family, and teammates to donate more to the cause by pledging $5 of his own money for every donation he received. Meanwhile, Dan often puts on car washes and makes team shirts to raise money, while Kevin holds raffles. Last year, Kevin won mesh from East Coast Dyes, and even a USA ECD Carbon shaft for being the top fundraiser at SFS Baltimore. This year, Kevin will be raffling off the ECD shaft to all those who donate $25 to his fundraising page (click here to donate and enter his raffle). And Kevin wants to keep on going! “Last year my goal was $1,000 and I hit that in the first week. This year, my goal was to raise $2,500, and I’ve already hit that even. My hope is to raise the bar for myself each year to drive the competitiveness of our guys to raise more for our Veterans,” he said.
When asked about their team’s success, Kevin and Dan both agreed that while some of their efforts come from competition between their players, most of the team’s success is due to the effect and atmosphere the SFS experience has on each of them. “It’s all about the quality of the experience. We could go out and play against each other whenever we want to. The guys recognize that they’re playing for such a great cause, and there is always this festival atmosphere to Shootout For Soldiers that no matter what time you’re playing you’re still going to have a good time,” said Dan.
Thanks for your awesome support Army of Darkness, keep up the great work!
Click here to view their page and learn more about Army of Darkness!