7/2/10 9:00 AM
By Heather Crowley
Major League Lacrosse has a proud history of partnering with deserving charities each season to celebrate its mid-season All Star Game. During the game, MLL All-Stars wear specially designed jerseys, which are then auctioned off to fans with all proceeds going to the charity. This year’s All-Star game will take place on Thursday July 8th in Boston at historic Harvard Stadium. In association with New Balance, Major League Lacrosse has chosen MetroLacrosse as the 2010 All-Star Charity.
MetroLacrosse is a non-profit organization whose mission is to address the social and economic disparities that exist in urban settings by inspiring personal, educational and athletic success among urban youth and teens. MetroLacrosse offers year-round programs that use the lure of lacrosse and the team sports environment to cultivate positive personal and academic achievement. Serving more than 700 youth and teens in Boston, Chelsea, Brockton and Lawrence, MetroLacrosse is one of the country’s leading sports-based youth development organizations.
Along with Major League Lacrosse, MetroLacrosse is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2010, and is doing so by creating a national organization that builds capacity for the growth of the game in urban areas across the country. Emily Helm, President and CEO of MetroLacrosse, described further how the organization is also reaching beyond the Boston skyline. “MetroLacrosse is also about to launch their first-ever national scale program next week, which is a direct result of the growth of the national program overall. From June 27-July 2, more than 100 kids from around the country will be participating in our first national scale overnight summer experience, called SummerBounce. Kids are coming from San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, New York, Boston and Washington, DC for a one-week overnight camp experience in New Hampshire. This is the launching pad for the national program and a very exciting development in MetroLacrosse’s growth overall. As MetroLacrosse grows and builds formal partnerships in the future with cities around the country, there will always be a variety of summer experiences that will be open to any urban lacrosse player nationwide.”
On June 17th, New Balance invited two high school players involved with the MetroLacrosse program, and one of its alumnae, to learn about and observe the design process for the 2010 Major League Lacrosse All-Star jerseys. Soldier Design, a Cambridge based design firm, hosted the players at their studios for the brainstorming session.
Quinnee Valenzona of Chelsea, Georgina Dominique of Dorchester and Danielle Lacey of Charlestown were the lucky participants.
Valenzona, who has been playing with MetroLacrosse since fifth grade, relished the chance to create something lacrosse players at the highest level will get to wear. Dominique, who first picked up a lacrosse stick in the seventh grade, was very interested in seeing how the designer’s concepts came to life. The girls gave their input on the final designs for the game uniforms, and got to try their own hand at design by sketching out ideas for the shooting shirts to be worn by Team MLL.
The designers at the studio showed the girls the process that went into creating the jersey and the various elements that were tried before coming up with final blueprints. The jerseys were designed to reflect an element of the city of Boston with initial ideas including a mock construction uniform, a Harvard crest, the CITGO sign and map of the Boston subway system, the T.
Solider Design artists explained the daunting process of laying all the elements that go into creating the uniforms and said the final design is collaboration between Soldier Design, New Balance, MetroLacrosse and Major League Lacrosse.
“We wanted to create something that represents the city and its character,” said Daniel Vogelzang, Director of Operations for Soldier Design. “We also wanted a jersey that reflects New Balance and the MLL. We tried out a lot of different things and looked at the city for inspiration.”
All three young women agreed on their favorite jersey design, which also happened to be one of the final choices Soldier picked for its submission to New Balance and Major League Lacrosse. The unveiling of the final jersey will take place at Major League Lacrosse’s media night on Wednesday, July 7th at Ned Devine’s from 6-8pm. Each jersey worn by a member of Team MLL will be available to the public for auction beginning July 8th through July 18th. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will be matched by The New Balance Foundation, and will directly benefit MetroLacrosse and its continuing efforts of “teaching kids to stick to their goals.”
Helm commented, “MetroLacrosse is honored to be selected as this year’s MLL All Star Game Charity, and we are grateful for the ongoing support of New Balance and Major League Lacrosse as we embark upon a new chapter in the organization’s history by growing nationally. Proceeds from the auction will be used to build MetroLacrosse’s national program so that more urban youth across the country have the opportunity to get involved in this game we all love. The experience of engaging with the design process was an incredible opportunity for three young people, and a terrific example of how community partnerships can support personal and professional growth among urban youth. We all loved the experience and can’t wait to see the jerseys unveiled and worn in the game on July 8th.” The All-Star Game is slated for Thursday July 8 at 7:00 pm and features a matchup of the MLL All-Stars versus the US Men’s National Team at Harvard Stadium. The game will broadcast live on ESPN2. Tickets for the All Star Game can be purchased by calling 617-746-9933 and at www.bostoncannons.com.
For more information about the All Star auction click HERE.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by WarriorAugust 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com
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