A family of four in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, launched The Turf is Calling to draw lacrosse players back to the field through an uncertain time. Originally developed to be a motivational lifestyle brand, the core mission has always been to encourage parents and players alike to find their “turf” and “answer the call.”
Dana and Chris Benz played lacrosse at NCAA DIII Kean University in Union, New Jersey, both graduating in 2007. Barely an hour’s drive from their old stomping grounds, Chris and Dana planted roots in Point Pleasant to start their own “lax family.” As their boys, Cole (7) and Casey (5), continue to grow and show an interest in sports, they are pulled to the local turf, their happy place, for family time and practice. The routine trip also created a perfect excuse to limit screen time, get out and get active.
When the pandemic struck, it was determined that slightly pivoting the original concept that was still being developed made a lot of sense.
What if The Turf is Calling could be a beacon of hope and a way to simply spread positivity? The idea to encourage practice now for the games that will take place later is nothing but inspiring and optimistic.
Since rolling out @theturfiscalling on Instagram and @turfiscalling on Twitter, the family of four has sent more than 1,000 helmet decals across the United States, Canada and the U.K. to players of all levels, pros included.
“We have been inspired by the willingness of these players to spread the love and put stickers on their helmets, ball buckets, laptops and elsewhere.” Dana Benz explained. “It is truly special.”
The Turf is Calling recently launched an online store for fans of the brands to sport the message on shirts, hats and sticker packs with the help of fellow Kean lacrosse graduate Justin Lappen and Fourg Athleltics. Proceeds from all sales are being directed back into the other initiatives in lacrosse working to grow the game, too.
“It is more than a saying, it is a mantra,” Dana Benz explained. “We have been inspired by the continued growth of lacrosse and also feel this movement can apply to all sports during these very difficult times.
“Lacrosse is the often referred to as the Medicine Game. Finding your ‘Turf,’ whether a shooting session at the field, wall ball or a quick catch in the yard can be therapeutic and good exercise for peace of mind as well for parents and players alike.”
Launched from a kitchen table by the ultimate lax mom and her family, The Turf is Calling has big aspirations, like seeing its “stamps” on helmets worldwide. The Benz family sees lacrosse for what it is: a tight knit community acting more like a big family. As their project rolls out, the family hopes to find stride as a leader in fueling the game with positivity.
“Lax means so much to our family,” Dana Benz reflected. “This is an extension of our passion and our love for it. Even if one kid or coach digs it, we’ve done something cool.”
The dream is to see The Turf is Calling become the Salt Life of lax, with all of those living the lifestyle sporting the brand slogan in one way or another. While they aren’t quite on the rear window of half of the cars along the coast, you never know. With passion, belief and a motivated community, you can’t anticipate where the journey will go. It’s best to just slap on a sticker, enjoy the ride and always answer when The Turf is Calling.
@johnkrasinski this is @somegoodnews #thebenzbrothers needed during this time. They have followed @PremierLacrosse from the start. Since they have been missing family, school and friends we can't thank them enough for giving these kids something to look forward to this summer! pic.twitter.com/VmnlMLJUlT
— Chris Benz (@cbenz34) May 9, 2020