By: Brent Greenberg
Heading into its seventh year, Shootout for Soldiers Baltimore has become a mainstay in the community, attracting over 10,000 people in attendance en route to raising $150,000.
Coaching the opening Veterans’ game was Towson Head Coach Shawn Nadelen and Maryland HC John Tillman. In addition to the rematch from last year, Nadelen has played in the last five Shootout for Soldiers events in Baltimore, running midfield from 1-4am this year.
Both coaches brought some backup this year. Nadelen added former Towson Tiger and current Florida Launch attackman Ryan Drenner and Tillman invited former Maryland Terrapin and current Charlotte Hounds attackman, Matt Rambo.
“Everyone should really join this great cause to give back for everything [our veterans] have done for us to keep our freedom and keep us safe,” said Rambo. “Everyone in the lacrosse world should join this cause and come out and donate.”
— Shootout for Soldiers (@SFSLacrosse) June 20, 2018
Three local partners will receive a portion of the fundraising from this year’s event – the Catch a Lift Fund, Baltimore Station and VetLinks. Vetlinks who aims to bridge the gap the VA mental health care gap for veterans with PTSD by connecting veterans, families and caregivers to post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury alternative treatment programs and resources. The Baltimore Station is a therapeutic residential treatment program supporting veterans and others who are transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency. The Catch a Lift Fund enables post 9/11 combat wounded veterans all over the U.S. to recover and rehabilitate both physically and mentally through physical fitness, motivation, and support. The diversity of this programming enables the fundraising of SFS Baltimore to make a real difference in the community on a number of fronts.
As the night wore on and the sun began to peek through the clouds, the kids began taking the field again. A staple for the 6 am game is a group of third graders named Sidewinders Lacrosse who raised over $7500. The youth teams really showed their support in 2018, raising a combined $35,000 at SFS Baltimore.
Matthew Vacek, SFS Baltimore’s top fundraiser raising over $6,000 for wounded American veterans, not only fundraised and played but also volunteered at the event as well! pic.twitter.com/NxfzPXiSbc
— Shootout for Soldiers (@SFSLacrosse) June 21, 2018
This year’s top individual fundraiser was Matthew Vacek. He raised over $6,000 in 2018, $4,000 more than the second place fundraiser. His team MDX 2024 finished in third in fundraising throughout the event!
After seven years, there’s one clear reason for success in Maryland: the community. With over 10,000 people in attendance and over 2,000 donors, this year showed just how much the area cares for our Veterans. See you in 2019!