Written by Andy Newman, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00
The Schreiber High School Boys’ Lacrosse team’s goal of establishing the Vikings as a major presence in Port Washington has gotten a big assist from a unique combination of local businesses, a very supportive parent organization and North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio.
From pumpkins to pies to candles to candy bars, the team has launched a successful fund raising initiative that has not only enhanced the program but has gotten them recognition for charitable contributions to autism and Hurricane Sandy relief in Long Beach. The boys have become a familiar sight throughout Port, always dressed in their self-designed purple uniforms, selling products donated by businesses such as Bayles Nursery (pumpkins in the fall), Main Street Bakery (pies for Thanksgiving) and Lou Babs & Moogs (gift candles in December). Main Street Bakery’s owner and Master Chef Mike Mignano even created the QuikStik for the Vikings, a chocolate candy bar, and donated 100 of them to the fundraising efforts. Arizona Iced Tea, whose owners live in Sands Point, have helped cut down on team expenses by donating water and energy drinks to both the varsity and junior varsity for the entire season.
Vikings coach Tom Mooney, in his second season, is optimistic about his team’s performance this year. They’ve already won three of their first four matches. Last year’s 9-7 team made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. “We have a good strong nucleus from last year, “said the coach, who played at the University of Scranton as a midfielder. “We’ve got a good blend of young players up from the junior varsity. It may take a little while longer to jell, but we will. The boys have shown a very positive attitude.”
“We’re trying to build the presence of high school lacrosse here,” Mooney continued, in commenting about the players’ fund raising efforts. “My kids have really worked hard. They deserve to be recognized for their hard work.”
The PW Lacrosse Boosters Club is the parent support group that organized the fundraising program. “All of our efforts are in support of creating a top-level lacrosse program here on a par with the elite teams on Long Island,” said club president John Crawley. “The businesses in town were incredibly generous. They only covered their expenses and donated the rest to the team.” The club also partnered with TQ Deals, setting up a mobile app discount card valid at local and national businesses.
Crawley added high praise for the work that Mooney and his assistants (Isaac Neal, Henry Stanziale and Jared LeVerne) have done with the team. “The fact that they went so far with a new coach last year was a testimony to Tom and his staff’s dedication and commitment to the game,” he said.
“Supporting local merchants is essential,” added Councilwoman De Giorgio. “The fundraiser that the lacrosse team sponsored was very innovative. Selling products from local business and having the business donate a portion of the sales price back to the group is a creative way to fundraise and promote local merchants. I would encourage more organizations to partner in this way.”
In addition to the charitable donations, the funds have enabled the team to buy enhanced protective equipment for the players, pay for fees associated with an increased travel schedule and tournament entry requirements and also for specialized instruction to enhance their skills. With increased attention and concern being shown across the country in better protecting athletes from head injuries, each Viking has been supplied with a top-of-the-line helmet.