Oceanside High School overflowed with athletic enthusiasm last Friday at a press conference announcing Lax Loves LI, a fundraiser to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy that will be held at the high school on April 13.
The event is co-sponsored by the high school, Oceanside Community Service, Island Harvest and the women’s lacrosse teams of Molloy College, Southern New Hampshire University, Yale and Columbia. NCAA Division II teams Molloy and SNH will face off in the first of two games, at 11 a.m., and Yale and Columbia, which compete in Division I, will battle in a 3 p.m. showdown.
The event was originally intended to bring Columbia’s team to Long Island for the benefit of the Oceanside varsity girls’ team. According to Oceanside Coach Ken Dwyer, 60 percent of the girls who play for the team go on to play for college squads — and, as it happens, there are some 40 Long Island natives playing for the four colleges that will compete there.
“The idea was to bring college teams here for the girls to see what it’s like to play for a major college lacrosse team,” said Frank Luisi, OHS’s adviser to NCAA college-bound student athletes.
But the team saw a community in need, and wanted to give more.
Aside from the games, planned events include a 1 p.m. lacrosse clinic for girls in first through sixth grades, a military color guard, a barbecue, a Chinese auction, and musical performances by Long Island bands the Mystic and Permission to Launch. A Team USA jersey, autographed and donated by the world champion American women’s lacrosse team, will be raffled off.
The event’s coordinators hope to raise $75,000, money that the still battered community sorely needs. According to Oceanside Superintendent Dr. Herb Brown, 200 students who attend Oceanside schools are still not living in Oceanside, and Robert Transom, the head of Oceanside Community Service and a Board of Education trustee, stresses that relief efforts are far from over.
“We fed those people,” said Transom, whose organization recognized early the potential damage Sandy could cause. “We went door to door.”
All of the proceeds from the event will benefit Oceanside Community Service, which, to date, has collected and donated over $100,000 to local victims of Hurricane Sandy. Tickets will be available the day of the event, and the suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for students.