The teams weren’t just playing to win in the tournament.
“The kids love doing something with an extra purpose behind it like charity,” said John Stanat, youth lacrosse coach.
For the non-profit group that put on the Lacrosse Festival every year there’s a greater goal off the field.
“We are a group that started three years ago in memory of our brother John Lawrence,” Dr. Barbara Asselin, Muddy’s Buddies Vice President.
The group, Muddy’s Buddies partners children with cancer and other chronic illnesses with sports teams across the county. The teams adopt the kids to become guest of honors at their games and events throughout the season.
“Any moral boost we can give to the kids that’s trying to fight the disease we appreciate that,” said Stanat.
“I think the partnership is huge and every coach and team has told this, that they got more from doing it than their buddy did, but I think it’s pretty mutual,” said Asselin.
Muddy’s Buddies funds their efforts through raffles, concessions, and t-shirt sales.
“We use those monies to try to provide additional help for the families, gas money and other needs they may have,” said Asselin.
Muddy’s Buddies helps about 12 families annually through events like this, last year its Lacrosse Festival raised about $5000. This year they hoped to raise more.
“It gets them away from some of the worries they are facing everyday whether they are at the hospital or not,” said Asselin.
For volunteers like Makenzie King who played in Lacrosse Fest growing up, its a relationship that lasts long after the games are over.
“When you’re little you don’t really realize it but as you grow up and see like, I helped that kid that one day, it makes you feel good,” said King, a volunteer.