Editor’s Note: Below is a letter to the lacrosse community from City Lax co-founder Mat Levine on the death of City Lax co-founder Gav Pasternak. We at LaxAllStars would like to offer our condolences to the family of Gav Pasternak and City Lax at this time.
Dear Friends and Supporters of CityLax,
Our Co-Founder, Gav Pasternak, passed away on February 22 at the age of 71, after a courageous battle with cancer. His funeral took place on Sunday, February 24th at 12:30pm at Riverside Memorial Chapels, 180 W 76th Street & Amsterdam Avenue. His family had “sit Shivah” and received guests at 65 West 89th Street, on Sunday February 24 (6-9PM), Monday February 25 (6-8PM), and Tuesday February 26 (6-8PM).
Gav co-founded CityLax with Mat Levine back in 2005. He was the principal “architect” of the Public-Private partnership strategy that enabled CityLax to work with the Department of Education in developing lacrosse inside the NYC public schools and in underserved communities throughout the 5 boroughs. This has given rise to the largest urban school-based lacrosse league of its kind and has given hundreds of student-athletes access to the game.
In addition to CityLax, Gav also co-founded Doc’s NYC Youth Lacrosse back in 1996 and was instrumental in its growth and success.
Gav grew up in Hempstead, Long Island where he developed his passion for lacrosse. He went on to play for Johns Hopkins University on their lacrosse and football teams in the late 1960’s.
As many also know, Gav earned an MD and PHD (also from Johns Hopkins) and worked as a neurologist for 42 years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital where he led his research lab to do ground-breaking work in the area of neuropharmacology and specifically in pain medication development.
Both CityLax and Doc’s NYC will miss Gav Pasternak’s pioneering work and his legacy will be the gift of lacrosse that he helped give to hundreds of players throughout the City.
Co-Founder of CityLax
CityLax, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse in New York City in a public-private partnership with the Public School (PSAL) system and in partnerships and alliances with community-based organizations. We are currently focused on introducing and expanding lacrosse into New York City schools and geographies that historically have had little or no access to the game and that are predominantly comprised of populations from lower income families. Through a character-based mentoring/coaching program, CityLax uses lacrosse as a teaching mechanism for helping student-athletes see the value of taking charge of their education, living a healthier lifestyle, and developing life skills for successful college and career advancement. Learn more at www.citylax.org.