A local lacrosse clinic was about more than perfecting catch, carry, and pass skills. The Illinois Chapter of US Lacrosse brought young players together for a fundraiser for injured servicemen. The clinic was led by one of the sport’s most successful coaches, who has strong ties to the military.
Hundreds of lacrosse players came to the Naperville Polo Fields, home of the Fox Valley Lacrosse Club, for a clinic run by Richie Meade, 2012 Men’s Team USA Coach. All of the proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project. The players did drills and learned how to perfect their skills. But for the kids, the day was about more than lacrosse; it was a chance to help others.
“You have to do what you can to give back to your community, and especially the people that support your country,” said Joey Edell, a Naperville resident.
Meade spent 17 years coaching the men’s lacrosse team at the Naval Academy, guiding them to seven NCAA tournament appearances. The military remains close to his heart, and now he’s the Executive Director for Wounded Warrior Project Lacrosse.
“This program, the goal of it is to play lacrosse, number one, but number two is to raise awareness for our veterans that have been wounded in combat and need help,” said Meade.
The Wounded Warrior Project was founded following 9/11 to help the men and women serving our country recover from their injuries, external or internal. At the clinic, the lacrosse players met a Naperville soldier who shared what the not-for-profit means to him.
“It’s innumerable all the good things that it does through sports, through activities for our wounded warriors, and through physical and mental health services,” said Christopher Quale, Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army.
The kids left the clinic feeling tired, but knowing their time and energy had gone towards a good cause. The clinic raised more than $14,000 for Wounded Warrior Project Lacrosse.
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