by Garrett Dvorkin
To raise $15,000 it takes a village, or in Dan Tisinger’s case, an Army. At this year’s Baltimore event, the Army of Darkness will be taking over the 11pm time slot. Last year the team raised an impressive $5,000 dollars, but set their goal higher this year as they were taking over an entire hour.
Tisinger has been interested in Shootout for Soldiers since the very beginning. He heard about the first event on Facebook, but due to his position as an active duty member of the Navy, could not participate because of his service. Tisinger kept his eye on the event though, and as SFS moved to McDonogh, Tisinger, his friends, and other active duty members of the military played in their first game.
The Army of Darkness is a very iconic name, you can buy their t-shirts, and other merchandise. The team however, didn’t start out calling themselves the Army of Darkness; “The first time we brought a team there, we used the name ‘Angry Pete’s Armada’, after our buddy who organized the team.” As Pete moved away to Colorado,Tisinger and other of the core players decided the team needed a new name, “ Two years ago, we changed our name to ‘The Army of Darkness’ because our time slot was in the middle of the night … and its also an awesome movie franchise.”
The Army of Darkness is bringing over forty players to this year’s event. The team is a true mix of people. When asked about the team,Tisinger said “Our team is a bit of everything, we have guys who served one term, got out, and are now veterans, we have active duty guys like myself, we have guys who work in the defense department, and we have guys who just want to be a part of this.” The Army of Darkness really embodies the Shootout for Soldiers mindset in how, “We aren’t an exclusionary group, we want everyone who’s available, and anybody who’s interested to come out and play.” The team has players across all skill levels too, from guys who played in college, to some members that “just picked up a stick in the past few years.” For The Army of Darkness, it is all about the cause. They treat the game “Like its a pickup game, its not about who wins the hour or anything.”
Third place still doesn’t sit well with Tisinger and the Army of Darkness. After placing third in fundraising in Baltimore last year, Tisinger wanted to win Baltimore this year. He started a method where everyone just had to “pay or somehow raise $50 … we are all mid thirties and up so either open up your wallet, or open up your contacts list.” The original plan was just to beat last year’s number, “after we passed that, I just kept raising the goal by $2,500.” I asked Tisinger if he had any advice for other teams in terms of fundraising. As his squad is currently in first place, his advice was “Don’t simply rely on social media, don’t rely on email. I made a t-shirt on booster.com, we sold them and raised $250, one guy did a daiquiri event where he invited people to his backyard and raised about $200. You just have to be out there and be active.” As the Baltimore event is less than a week away, the Army of Darnkess is less than $2,000 away from their goal. You can donate to The Army of Darkness here https://www.crowdrise.com/armyofdarkness2 .