Thousands of players of varying skill levels enjoyed a weekend full of lacrosse at the St. Paul's fields Saturday and Sunday while supporting worthy causes and honoring five great Garden City residents.
The 15th annual Jay Gallagher Memorial Lacrosse Tournament was well-attended, featuring 120 teams and 5,000 players from all over the Northeast. The tournament, which raises funds and public awareness for The Andy Foundation, Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation and The Miracle Foundation, memorializes past Garden City residents Jay Gallagher, Andrew Palmeri, Mollie Biggane, Ryan Kohart and Dave Leistman.
Gallagher graduated from Garden City High School in 1970 and went on to be a four year defenseman at Cornell University. He tri-captained the "Big Red" team and helped them reach the NCAA semi finals. After graduation, he acted as assistant lacrosse coach for North Carolina, Syracuse, Rutgers and Cornell. Jay succumbed to melanoma in 1992 at the age of 39.
"The weather was beautiful and we had over 6,000 people in attendance," said Tournament Director Anthony Randi.
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The Challenger Program, which took place on Sunday, was one of the highlights of the weekend. This a co-ed recreational program enables children with physical and developmental disabilities to enjoy the benefits of team sports participation in an adapted environment structured to fit their abilities.
"The Challenger Program was a great feature this weekend," said Randi, explaining that one team even came all the way from Dix Hills to take in all the action.
He added," "It was an awesome weekend for everybody who came down."
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