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Sticks for Soldiers lacrosse

The Fairfield Ludlowe High School lacrosse team and the local lacrosse community will host the 7th annual Sticks for Soldiers Thanksgiving Charity Lacrosse Tournament   to raise money for severely wounded soldiers on Saturday Nov. 24 at Fairfield Ludlowe.
More than 700 high school athletes —  both boys and girls teams — in varsity and JV divisions are expected to participate, representing more than 45 teams and playing over 90 games during the day in nearby venues.
Team entry fees and other fund-raising activities contribute towards the charity goal. The officials, referees and umpires of both boys and girls field lacrosse, are donating their time towards this worthy cause.
This year, honorees will include USMC Cpl. (ret) Greg Caron, 26, of Ellington, who lost both his lower legs and suffered nerve damage in a booby-trapped IED explosion in Afghanistan the day after Veteran’s Day  last November.
Following immediate in-country medical care and quick transport to Germany, he was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  There, he received extensive wound treatment, physical therapy and prosthetic training though the last several months of rehabilitation.
Caron and his wife are now adjusting to their lives in Connecticut.
It is planned that the Sticks For Soldiers donation, together with that of several other non-profits, will help contribute to building a home for Greg and his family in Ellington.
Jim Tommins, the tournament chairman, said: “This charity tournament has galvanized the lacrosse programs in the region to help towards this cause.
“High schools are entering 2 and 3 teams, and undertaking their own fundraising to help.”
Chris Parisi, Ludlowe head coach, said: “We can’t thank our soldiers and their families enough for their sacrifices.  This is our small way to help.
“We’ve even discussed the future of scaling this event to host schools in several cities across the country.”
Tommins added: “There is more we can do In the last two years, we have directly helped four severely injured soldiers to enhance their lives, and raised over $160,000 since the first tournament in 2006.”
The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. with registration at 8 a.m.
A mid-day ceremony recognizing the honorees will be capped by a keynote address given by Fairfield’s own USMC Major John P. Cimina, a decorated Naval Flight Officer stationed at NAS Pensacola.
Participating high schools already signed up include host Fairfield Ludlowe, Fairfield Warde, Fairfield Prep, Ridgefield,  Hopkins of New Haven, St. Joseph of Trumbull, Notre Dame of Fairfield, Joel Barlow of Redding, Amity of Woodbridge, Staples of Westport, Hamden,  Cheshire, Newtown, Guilford, Hall of West Hartford, Stamford, Southington,  Darien, Wilton, Brien McMahon of Norwalk, Avon, Daniel Hand of Madison, Danbury and Xavier of Middletown,  as well as club teams.
Exhibitions will be given throughout the day by the Ludlowe cheerleading and dance teams.
A third- and fourth-grade youth scrimmage is planned, along with a speed shot station.
Team entry fees, raffles, and silent auction proceeds and private donations are pooled to support the honorees.
Donations may be sent, payable to Sticks for Soldiers, Inc., PO Box 475, Fairfield, Conn. 06824.
For more information, honoree profiles, tournament schedules, location and history, please see  sticksforsoldiers.org.

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