'Shootout for Soldiers': 24-hour charity lacrosse tournament wraps up in Massapequa to support vets
Hundreds of lacrosse players took over John J. Burns Park in Massapequa Thursday and remained there for 24 hours straight into Friday.
The annual "Shootout for Soldiers" charity lacrosse tournament benefits American veterans. 'Shootout for Soldiers.' Children play lacrosse to raise money for soldiers
From day to night, athletes say they will keep up the same energy on the turf.
Shootout for Soldiers Executive Director Erik Mineo says the word "marathon," which is associated with the fundraiser also describes what many brave soldiers go through.
"The war in combat ends, but the war for our mind, body and soul will continue and that's a lifelong battle and the charities, and what we do here supports that," Mineo says.
Long Island has pulled the most donations for the tournament for eight years straight. Last year, more than $200,000 was raised.
Seventeen-year-old Dillon O'Conner is confident that this year's event will raise even more money.
"I think I think we're going to destroy that number," O'Conner says. "I think it's going to be way bigger than even people can imagine.
Student-athletes played along with first responders and veterans.
Shootout for Soldiers co-chairman Mike Nelson says the event is about more than just the money.
"We look at it as it's our opportunity to connect the kids that are playing lacrosse with issues that veterans are facing," Nelson says.
The event started at 9 a.m. Thursday and continued through 9 a.m. Friday.