On Saturday, May 4, the Shady Side Academy boys' and girls' varsity lacrosse teams hosted the SSA Lacrosse Face-Off Against Suicide Event, raising more than $30,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.
The event featured a full day of youth and high school lacrosse games from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., plus tons of activities including a youth girls lacrosse clinic, a silent auction, Chinese auction, 50-50 raffle, fastest shot competitions, Major League Lacrosse player appearances and autograph signings, T-shirt and gear sales, a lacrosse stringing table, food truck, Kona Ice truck and an AFSP informational tent. The game schedule included six Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse (PYLAX) games during the day, followed by an evening doubleheader with the SSA boys' and girls' varsity lacrosse teams taking on Western Reserve Academy.The event was spearheaded by SSA senior boys' lacrosse captain Ronan O'Connor, who lost his older brother, Tom, to suicide in 2013. Also helping to organize the event were the other SSA boys' and girls' lacrosse captains, seniors Colm O'Connor (Ronan's brother), Jack Naughton, Ella Benec, Emmie Lau and Abby Todd, as well as SSA varsity coaches Cam Thompson (boys) and Katy Phillips (girls).
Funds were raised for AFSP through event sponsorships, online donations and event-day raffles, auctions and sales. The teams exceeded their goal of raising $25,000 for AFSP. A ceremonial check presentation was held on the field at the end of the SSA boys lacrosse game, with Ronan O'Connor and a representative from the Western PA Chapter of AFSP speaking.
Event sponsors included:
- Gold Level: Evoqua Water Solutions
- Silver Level: #1 Cochran Automotive, Delaney Automotive, Kiya Tomlin, Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Smithfield Trust Company, The Hartwood Restaurant, Alpha Lacrosse
- Bronze Level: Fuhrer Wholesale, Costa Contracting, Valvoline, Whitmer and Worrall, Trilogy Lacrosse, Top String Lacrosse
Congratulations to Ronan and the SSA lacrosse teams on organizing such a fun and successful event to benefit suicide prevention and awareness!
View the event photos: