For the third consecutive year, the Town of Oyster Bay will host the “Shootout for Soldiers” 24-Hour Lacrosse Game Benefit at the Town of Oyster Bay’s Field of Dreams, located on Old Sunrise Highway in Massapequa. This year’s round-the-clock event will begin on the morning of July 21, at 9 a.m. and continue non-stop for 24 hours until July 22, at 9 a.m. The event is held annually for the benefit of American Military personnel, according to Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris J. Coschignano. In addition, the Long Island Air Force Association will conduct a special ceremony at 5 p.m. to honor Vietnam veterans and present them with medals that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the conflict.
“I’m proud that the Field of Dreams, one of our outstanding town fields, has again been selected as the venue for this highly regarded event,” said Coschignano. “This is a terrific game that gives lacrosse players a chance to enjoy a sport they love in a unique way while also helping to support those who have served our nation.”
The event raises money for organizations that support United States Veterans as well as those currently in the U.S. Armed Forces. The beneficiaries of this year’s event include the Semper Fi Fund, the Ranger Lead the Way Fund, the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund. Last year, about $115,000 was raised in support of organizations that benefit veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, bringing the total raised for the first two years of the event to about $200,000.
The event is broken down into 24 continuous one-hour sessions. Registered players and teams will be given jerseys and placed on either the Stars team or the Stripes team and matched against a team of similar ability. The score is cumulative resulting in unique scores for a lacrosse game with totals reaching into the hundreds. Last year, the Stars defended their title with a victory of 282-274. In the first event, the Stars defeated the Stripes 214-210.
Participants will include boys and girls, men and women, seniors, youth, high school and college players with each group taking the field for one hour. Teams that accommodate players with special needs are also scheduled to play. Among the highlighted matchups is a contest of teams of U.S. veterans beginning at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., players from the Plainedge community will take the field in a session that honors fallen NYPD Detective Brian Moore. A matchup between the NYPD and the FDNY is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. In total, 96 teams will take the field during the lacrosse marathon.
“This is a great event. It is fun for the players, fun for the fans and it benefits several important causes,” he said. “Lacrosse has become quite popular on Long Island. It’s terrific that lacrosse players and fans can be a part of this very unique event.”
Harry Jacobs, Chairman of the Shootout for Soldiers Committee, said this event has been a big success since it came to Long Island two years ago. He expressed his appreciation to all those who helped make it possible.
“I would like to give special thanks to all those involved in the planning of this event, especially the Town of Oyster Bay,” said Jacobs. “This event is a great way to bring awareness that our veterans need help. They were selfless in servicing our Nation and protecting all of us, and this is a small way of thanking them for all hey have done.”
For more information, visit www.shootoutforsoldiers.com.