Over 1,300 players and 3,000 attendees came out to the Field of Dreams in Long Island, N.Y. to support wounded veterans and the local community. With an overwhelming lacrosse base and numbers like that, it’s no surprise that SFS Long Island continues to be one of the largest events nationwide.
Yet even more impressive are some of the reasons that SFS Long Island sticks out as such a unique event. Examples include a wheelchair game, a FDNY vs. NYPD game, a special needs game, and the Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemorative Medal Ceremony hosted by the Long Island Air Force Association.
Other highlights include guest speaker JC Glick who spoke to teams about his service and the importance of remembering those who gave their life for our freedom.
A portion of the $174,812 raised at SFS Long Island will go to local charity partners, Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, the Long Island Air Force Association, and the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund. The Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund “is an active duty, casualty assistance, recovery, transition and veterans organization that provides financial support, beyond what the government and veterans affairs can offer, to U.S. Army Rangers and the families of those who have died, have been disabled or who are currently serving in harm’s way around the world.” The Long Island Air Force Association aims “to promote a United States Air Force that is second to none and a strong national defense.” The Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund boasts a mission “to award scholarships in memory of 1LT Joe Theinert and to provide crucial support to organizations that enrich the lives of active and veteran United States service members, their dependents and caregivers, and Gold Star Families, like our passion project Strongpoint Theinert Ranch.”
A few teams were also presented with some awesome gifts: the Top Fundraising Team was awarded a Downstream x Shootout for Soldiers backpacks, and one eligible team won the opportunity to keep their jerseys. In addition, the Top Fundraiser was awarded a custom Cascade Maverik x Shootout for Soldiers helmet.
The 2019 Top Fundraising Team was HF Wolf Pack & PW Harvey’s 2028 who, between 29 members, were able to raise $5,770.
SFS Long Island’s Top Fundraiser Julia Mendoza-Pineyro, of Recon 5/6 Girls Team, absolutely shattered her fundraising goal of $500 with a fundraising total of $3,183. Mendoza-Pineyro also shattered a few records along the way as the youngest Top Fundraiser of 2019 and the first female!
When asked what she’d like to do with her new Cascade Maverik x Shootout for Soldiers helmet, she responded that she’d like to give it to one of her brothers. Shootout for Soldiers Executive Director Merry Troper told Mendoza-Pineyro not to worry, though, as she’d still get some awesome gear for herself courtesy of Cascade as thanks for her outstanding fundraising efforts.
“Once again, the Long Island Shootout for Soldiers committee volunteers stepped up to make the 2019 event as big or better than it has been in the past,” said SFS Long Island Co-Organizer Mike Nelson. “For the first time, they were confronted with challenges such as handling some tough weather and some last-minute schedule glitches, but they proved to be no problem for our volunteers. We have seen more folks wearing SFS apparel than ever before, which is great to see as we roll towards year number seven in 2020 and as we crush the million dollar mark for our event!”