Editor’s Note: Let’s welcome Mr. Rod Allison to the podium, here to represent a great cause out in the Rockies. Rod is fired up for the 2018 Denver City Lax Dash 5k and he wants to help you feel the energy too! Take it away, Ron…
Giving back to the game of lacrosse, diversity, supporting youth and building community all come together in Colorado this next Sunday, February 11, at the annual Denver City Lax Dash.
It’s a unique, inspiring and fun event as numerous Colorado high school lacrosse teams, and a handful of other groups, all join together to run a 5k, raise money, and support Denver City Lax, an urban lacrosse organization providing equipment and year-round programming at no cost to boys and girls in underserved Denver neighborhoods.
Building the Denver City Lax Dash Project
The Dash began in 2014 and since year one participants have raised almost $200,000. That makes the event among the leading, if not largest, high school athletic related charity fundraiser in Colorado.
This year, over 400 boys and girls high school lacrosse players will team up with a number of youth players, coaches, club teams and college students to make Sunday’s event the largest ever. Prior to race day, each runner conducts an online campaign raising funds that go directly to assisting Denver City Lax in working with at-risk youth on and off the lacrosse fields.
The Dash has struck a special chord with both boys and girls high school teams. Over 20 high schools are involved this year, including Vail Shootout founder Jim Soran’s Regis Jesuit team. Regis lacrosse players turn out in large numbers to support City Lax, and thanks to their generous community Regis is on top of the donation leaderboard.
Bigger, Better 2018
Sunday’s race takes place at Denver’s magnificent Washington Park which will fill with opposing high school teams and other lacrosse players running together in support of a single cause.
“I love the Dash’s atmosphere,” says Regis Jesuit attackman Anders Erickson. “It’s a great way to catch up with kids from your own team and connect with other schools before the season starts.”
Ryan Bergner, senior at Kent Denver, echoes that sentiment,
“I love the Dash because it’s an opportunity for everyone to work together to give back to the game and the community. The event is just a great time.”
Eric Law, program manager for Denver City Lax and current MLL Offensive Player of the Year, says the community give-back makes the day special.
“The Colorado lacrosse community has been very welcoming in helping us make sure kids from all neighborhoods have access to the game. There are not enough thanks for the coaches, players, families, donors and amazing sponsors that all make the Dash such a great event.”
Dash funds support kids that would otherwise not be playing, and helps build lacrosse in new neighborhoods.
“We start boys and girls at the 1st and 2nd grade level,” says program director Ben Allison. “Families that didn’t know the sport are now viewing lacrosse as a legitimate activity for their kids to be involved with. We’ll have at least 15 youth teams this spring.
Our focus is ultimately on promoting education and life skills development. As kids progress and stay engaged in the game year-round opportunities also include leadership camps, outdoor adventure experiences, enrichment activities, academic assistance, high school and college visits and individual mentoring.”
Past Denver City Lax players are now in college, many as first in family attendees. Hundreds of boys and girls are lined up behind these trailblazers.
“Our participants are finding success both as athletes and students,” says Allison. “Two current high school juniors that began with us in elementary school are on their way to attend and participate with top 20 collegiate programs. It’s exciting.”
Positive Tracks Partnership
This year, Denver City Lax is thrilled to partner with Positive Tracks, a national non-profit providing support to causes that involve youth finding personal value and meaning through charitable athletic endeavors. Their mission: ‘To Help Young People Sweat for Good.’
This year’s Dash sponsors are all companies doing great work and committed to giving back to the community and supporting youth – Under Armour, LXTC Lacrosse, Headwrapz, and Encore Lacrosse.
You don’t have to run to make a difference.
Simply check out the 2018 Dash homepage and select any team or runner to support and make a contribution. Or, make a donation through the Denver City Lax website. Your support will directly benefit kids finding success through lacrosse.