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Fairfield lax standing up for soldiers

The 7th annual Sticks for Soldiers Thanksgiving Lacrosse Tournament has named US Army Captain Gregory Galeazzi of Glastonbury to be the second honoree for this years’s  support.
The tournament raises funds and awareness for severely wounded military personnel. He joins USMC Cpl. (ret) Greg Caron of Ellington, as the two honorees this year.
The Fairfield Ludlowe High School lacrosse team and the local lacrosse community will host the tournament 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.
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.
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.
On May 26, 2011 Cpt.  Galeazzi, an Army Ranger, was seriously wounded while conducting a dismounted patrol in Kandahar Province.
The blast caused severe injuries to his legs, requiring above the knee amputations on both limbs, and his right arm was critically damaged.
Galeazzi is an Eagle Scout, graduate of Glastonbury High, and a 2007 graduate of the Loyola  University (Md.)  AROTC program. He has been located at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX, where he continues his recovery and rehabilitation.
Caron lost both his lower legs and suffered nerve damage in a booby-trapped IED explosion in Afghanistan the day after Veteran’s Day in November 2011.
Following life-saving filed medical care and quick transport to Germany, Caron 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 is a graduate of Ellington High, where he excelled as a varsity athlete in soccer and basketball. He 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 Caron and his family in Ellington.
The lacrosse tournament will have nearly 50 high school teams in boys and girls lacrosse with approximately 700 athletes participating. Games begin at 9 a.m.
A mid-day ceremony recognizing the honorees will be capped by a keynote address given by Fairfield native USMC Major John P. Cimina, a decorated Naval Flight Officer stationed at NAS Pensacola.
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.
Sticks For Soldiers is a high school charity lacrosse tournament held in Fairfield to raise money for wounded troops.
Held on Thanksgiving Saturday, it is sponsored by the Fairfield Ludlowe High School lacrosse team.
The primary mission of the tournament is to provide support and give thanks to the service men and women who put their lives on the line and sacrificed for our country.
A secondary objective is to create awareness among high school athletes to the sacrifices being made by people just a few years older than themselves.
Through their play and fundraising participation, the athletes demonstrate their tangible thanks and support.
Started in 2006, the idea came from long-time lacrosse advocate Mike Voucas.
Supported by Fairfield Ludlowe head coach Chris Parisi and a number of dedicated volunteers, the tournament and related events and fundraising efforts has now raised over $160,000 in six years.

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