Editor’s note: Please welcome Virginia lacrosse great Chris Rotelli to LaxAllStars.com.
Chris (University of Virginia ’03) lives in San Francisco where he teaches lacrosse to youth and high school players at ADVNC Lacrosse, and serves as regional sales manager for Maverik and Cascade lacrosse. A former Tewarraton Award winner, MLL All-Star, and NCAA champion, Chris has been teaching lacrosse to youth and high school players for over a decade, sharing the knowledge and experiences that have benefited him in life and his professional career.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for lacrosse.
Last week I was reminded of the bond it creates between those of us who love the game.
A fellow lacrosse player Zach Heffner was injured and needed some help, so Lorne Smith (Princeton 99’) and some other San Francisco lacrosse folks started hitting the phones to see how they could help. It wasn’t long before an idea formed, and a few days later, The Laxgiving Super Jam was announced. The idea was simple. Throw a party to unite the whole SF Bay Area lacrosse community, and raise some money for Zach. To do this Lorne and others were going to need some help.
First a venue.
The first call was to Bryan Duquette, a San Francisco music mogul and lacrosse enthusiast, who’s dad Tom was an All American at UVA in the early 70’s. Bryan was excited to help, so he quickly found a date that worked, and donated the perfect music club for this event: The Independent in San Francisco.
Next up he needed to find some music.
For that Lorne called Joe Uva (Springfield) and Hugo Gallo (URI) of the Barbary Coast lacrosse club. Joe and Hugo were happy to donate their band ‘Things got Weird’, to help support Zach. So they started spreading the word and planning their set.
The next call was to myself, who Lorne asked to DJ the party in between sets and after the show. Five minutes later I was reborn as DJ Wavelength, and learning how to DJ.
With things coming together quickly, Lorne called his band ‘Lorne and Wayhighs’, and got them on board in a matter of minutes
Next item of business was some sponsors to help promote the party, and this is where the event really took shape. In less than a day, literally every single lacrosse organization in the Bay Area put their name on the bill, and helped spread the word. No hidden agendas or politics, everyone was on board to support a brother in need.
In a matter a minutes a bunch of guys who only had lacrosse in common, came together to throw a benefit concert for a guy that some of them barely knew.
It was a good feeling.
What is it about lacrosse that motivates people to come together for each other? I couldn’t help but think back to a speech I heard Dom Starsia give to a group of parents and players weeks earlier in a small room at the JCC in San Francisco. Dom had donated his time to speak to a group of folks about the recruiting process, and along the way started reflecting about this great game.
“There’s something about lacrosse. When you get it in your blood, it stays with you forever. Those people who get into it, tend to stay in it, in some form, for the rest of their lives.”
It’s one of the best things about this game. As big as it gets, once you are ‘in’, you are in for life. I’m still in contact with players I met at lacrosse camp in 8th grade. It’s still a fraternity, and I love this about the game.
The event went off without a hitch (except perhaps a few miss-cues on the 1’s and 2’s), and lacrosse players young and old, male and female, came out to support a fellow laxer who needed some help. It was a great sight. With all the bad news out there about our sport, this night shined brightly and reminded us all, that this is what we are all about.
Mike Powell recently wrote, ‘We are all brothers’. That sentiment never seemed so clear to me, and others, as it did this night.
To help Zach visit: http://www.verdictdigital.bigcartel.com/product/donations