What a year for Shootout For Soldiers.
2018 was the year of;
SUCCESS; Supporting our Military Men and Women through the programs, projects and help that our Veteran Charity Partners do daily. Raising over $840 thousand which when added to the total amount raised over the last 7 years puts Shootout For Soldiers at over $3 million dollars. (Who would have imagined that a group of high school seniors playing lacrosse, led by our CEO Tyler Steinhardt would have created a charity event that continues to grow and give back to our Veterans, through the game of lacrosse.)
EVENTS; Yes, we had 11 Shootout For Soldiers events, all memorable, special and successful. All the locations include a Veterans game. It is THE GAME! Watching the Veterans from every Military Branch (all ages, both men and women) play as a team is fantastic. Seeing our Military men and women standing together on the sideline during the National Anthem is one of the most moving scenes. (At the Raleigh event, the Veterans lead the audience in the National Anthem) I can’t put into words how proud you feel watching them at that moment. (You need to experience it yourself)
Let’s talk about some of the highlights from 2018 (there are so many that I had a hard time choosing); Long Island raised the most money…why is that a highlight, because they beat Baltimore…watch out 2019, Baltimore wants its title back! Philadelphia raised over $100 thousand and it was only their 2nd year…I don’t know, but I think that Long Island and Baltimore better watch their backs. We added 3 new cities; Washington D.C., Raleigh, and Seattle, all 3 came in strong for their 1st year. (What a backdrop in DC, the Washington Monument standing tall overlooking the fields.) There are many rivalries between locations; 2018 had the Ohio event and the Canandaigua event on the same day, that in itself is big, but the rivalry was even bigger with Ohio squeaking out a win by a few hundred dollars. These were just a few of the memorable moments, every event has, that everyone needs to experience.
None of the events would have happened without the amazing VOLUNTEER ORGANIZERS that Shootout For Soldiers has! I would like to THANK; Brett Stevens (SFS Atlanta), Andrew Manos (SFS Baltimore) Michael Sullivan/Rachael Rennie (SFS Boston), Chris Bates (SFS Philadelphia), Harry Jacobs (SFS Long Island), Ohio Committee (SFS Ohio), John Isaac/Deven York (SFS Canandaigua), Dan Tisinger (SFS Washington DC), Kaitlyn Cole (SFS Raleigh), Jim Hunt/Barrett Crane/Pete Crowley (SFS Seattle) and Michelle Hankin/Tony Berk (SFS California).
In closing, I would like to Thank all the Veterans that I have had the pleasure of meeting, talking too and hearing your stories. Knowing that Shootout For Soldiers is helping by Educating, the community about the challenges veterans face when returning home, Engaging, the civilian and military communities at the events to foster empathy and understanding and Amplifying, the work of leading non-profits, is why I love what we do.
To the National Shootout For Soldiers Team, thank you for all your support in helping me transition to my new role at Shootout For Soldiers; Alex Sullivan (COO), Gabby Steinhardt (Director of Business Development), Brent Greenberg (Social Media/Publicity), Geron Brooks (2018 National Tour Director) and Liz Donovan (Volunteer Coordinator).
I am grateful for all the support from the players, coaches, teams, parents, volunteers, referees, trainers and spectators that make every Shootout For Soldiers event a success. Without your participation, we couldn’t do what we do!
Thank you to our national and local sponsors that go above and beyond in supporting the Shootout For Soldiers mission and help us accomplish our goals.
To Tyler Steinhardt our CEO, Thank you! I am humbled by the opportunity you have given me, to take your vision for Shootout For Soldiers and continue to grow its mission.
Last but not least, Thank you to my family, Michael, Sam, and Bella, who without their love and support I would not be able to do what I am doing. They understand my passion for Shootout For Soldiers and are right there with me!
Looking forward, 2019 is going to be bigger and better! (Here we come Jacksonville, Florida) I can’t wait to share it with all of you! (Registration opens January 11)
Best-Happy New Year!
Merry Troper, Executive Director