The Shootout For Soldiers 24-hour lacrosse event held at Town of Oyster Bay’s Field of Dreams in Massapequa raised more than $175,000 in the sixth iteration of the event. The event, which ran from July 18-19, had various lacrosse players and organizations come together to play one-hour sessions of lacrosse and raise money for veterans in need. Participating teams included many representing Massapequa from Chiefs 2023 to Pequa 2029.
“Everything went really well,” said Harry Jacobs, co-chairman of the Shootout For Soldiers committee. “It turned out to be a really great event. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We raised a lot of money for our veterans and our current troops.”
Jacobs has been in charge of running these events with co-chairman Mike Nelson since the event started back in 2014. While there were a few things that they do differently every year, one stands out to Jacobs is bringing awareness to the struggles veterans go through when they come home. The event held a ceremony for Vietnam War veterans by presenting them with 50th year anniversary medals that were approved by the department of defense. Retired Lt. Col. J.C. Glick, who served 20 years with more than 11 combat tours, was also present speaking to each team that played to remind them that what they are playing for is so important.
“He spoke to the teams about what this means to veterans who need a lot of help when they come home,” said Jacobs. “Long Island has one of the highest populations in the country of homeless vets. It’s not an easy thing. It’s really a tragedy. If what we do down at Massapequa, bringing the lacrosse community together, helps these men and women in combat who have given so much for all of us, then we’ve accomplished our goal at the end of the day.”
As for the lacrosse games themselves, there were many great matches that occurred over the 24-hour period. Among the highlights was a game between veterans and active duty soldiers, a battle between Nassau County Police and Fire Departments and the “Friends of Brian Moore” game, which saw the Plainedge community come together to honor the NYPD officer who was shot and killed in New York City. There was also a co-ed game between the girls of East Meadow 2022 and the boys of the 2022 Crew, as well as a wheelchair game that took place at the basketball court nearby.
“It was good to see these young athletes come together for a good cause, then to have some fun with it,” said Jacobs. “You don’t see that a lot. Nobody cares about the score. When it all comes together at the end of the day, it is worth it.”
Over the course of six years, the event has raised over $850,000 for charity. All proceeds will go to various veteran and troop organizations, including the Army Rangers Lead The Way Fund and the Joseph J. Theinert Fund. For more information, visit www.shootoutforsoldiers.com/events/longisland-2019.