Care For The CureBy Jackie Branca
It seems to be in our human nature to want to help others when they are in need. This is exactly what Ryan Cranston, the Lacrosse Evolution (LaxEvo) Facility Director at the King of Prussia facility, felt when his sister-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2008.
“When she was in and out of the hospital I had the mentality of ‘what can I do to help,’” said Cranston, a former Major League Lacrosse player who played for the San Francisco Dragons in 2008. “This just made sense for me to do, and I wanted to do something that would create awareness for the disease in Caroline’s name.”
So, in November 2009, Cranston held the first annual Care for the Cure Lacrosse Tournament. All proceeds from the event go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in addition to a scholarship in Caroline’s name, who passed away in May of this year.
This year’s tournament will be held on November 7 th starting at 9:00am at the West Chester Henderson High School in West Chester, PA. While teams play a series of 50 minute games, fans can enjoy vendors and entertainment throughout the day.
Last year’s event featured an all girls tournament that raised $8,000, with one team even traveling from Canada. While there won’t be any teams from that far away this year, Cranston still has high expectations for the tournament. He hopes to double the previous year’s donations, especially because they have added a boy’s bracket.
“This year we have twice as many teams, with 22 high school boys and girls teams coming and would like to double the donations to $16,000 this year,” said Cranston. “We’re also donating $1,000 to the Be the Match Foundation bone marrow registry.” Cranston said.
Cranston isn’t alone in his efforts for the tournament. Many other employees of LaxEvo are involved in the organizing and fundraising efforts, including LaxEvo president Tom Slate. Slate, who coached Cranston while with the Dragons, and is now the Associate Head Coach for the Denver Outlaws said he’s very involved in the tournament and noted the importance of how it affects a larger group of people.
Slate’s LaxEvo training center is made up of two indoor facilities with a staff that ranges from youth to collegiate and professional playing and coaching experiences, including former Boston Cannon, John Christmas.
LaxEvo, with facilities in Downingtown and now King of Prussia, PA, is aimed at training and teaching kids the necessary skills to become a better all-around lacrosse player. Slate started the program in 2005, looking to have a program that could teach kids to become a better lacrosse player in all aspects of the game.
“I have been doing this type of combined training all my life. Speed, agility and lacrosse training, geared to help you improve your speed and lacrosse skill with your stick in your hand the right way,” said Slate. “A lot of companies just do one speed or lacrosse, we combine them.”
“We do this 365, 24, 7,” said Slate of what makes this program unique. “We wake up and make the program better every day for the kids to get better faster. The results are seen on the pre and post testing results.”
LaxEvo holds clinics, camps, private lessons and training sessions year round for boys and girls of all ages. One of the more popular clinics Cranston said is the SKILLS clinic (Starting Kids In Learning Lacrosse) for kids in kindergarten through third grade. SKILLS is geared toward teaching young kids the fundamental skills and aspects of lacrosse.
For a schedule of events CLICK HERE