(New York, March 2, 2012) — Last night, CityLax, the non-profit organization dedicated to using athletics, particularly lacrosse, to benefit student-athletes in underserved communities, hosted its sixth annual Gala event at The Yale Club of New York City. This year’s event, emceed by ESPN/SNY Lacrosse Sportscaster Eamon McAnaney, celebrated the extraordinary impact that CityLax’s innovative lacrosse programs continue to have on student-athletes living in the five boroughs of New York City.
At the event, two student-athletes who have participated in the CityLax programming inside the NYC public schools, spoke about their experiences and the positive impact CityLax has had on their lives. Remarks were also made by Robert Andrews and Ron Brown, Gala Co-Chairs, and CEO Mat Levine, illuminating the growing successes of CityLax’s public-private partnership with the Department of Education and the power CityLax has to create athletic and educational opportunities for those in need. In addition, three CityLax partners/mentors were inducted into the CityLax Hall of Fame including Eugene Li, Assistant Principal and Assistant Lacrosse Coach, Herbert Lehman HS in the Bronx; Aquenette Purnell-Hurd, former Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, A. Philip Randolph HS in Harlem; Robert Wright, Partner at White and Williams LLP, Head the Parent Association representing the Don Bosco High School Lacrosse program. The evening featured appearances by numerous former college lacrosse All-Americans, current professional lacrosse stars, and concluded with the audience participating in CityLax Advisory Board member Ed McGuinn’s annual live and silent auctions.
“Our Gala was centered on our core message of empowering student-athletes to reach their highest potential by developing athletic and educational skills which will not only build healthy behaviors, but will create opportunities for a successful post-high school future,” said Mathew Levine, CEO of CityLax. “It was our privilege to honor Eugene Li, Aquenette Purnell-Hurd and Robert Wright as CityLax partners/mentors for helping provide lasting change in the lives of New York City’s youth.”
Since 2004, CityLax’s initiatives have helped to triple the number of public high school teams playing varsity lacrosse in New York City’s Public School Athletic League, currently at thirty teams in twenty-four schools. Along with the NYC Sports Commission and the PSAL, CityLax has created and co-hosts the Mayor’s Cup of Lacrosse Jamboree for boys and girls high school teams in the five boroughs, the largest lacrosse event of its kind held each year in New York City. Whether serving as a catalyst for assisting schools in their effort to develop their lacrosse programs or helping student-athletes to broaden their educational choices, CityLax is committed to giving New York City’s youth the greatest opportunity for success.
This year’s Gala raised over $300,000 dollars. Proceeds from the benefit will help fund CityLax’s mission of using lacrosse to create organized, structured, after-school athletic activities for those in underserved schools and communities. Through its 85+ person volunteer base, CityLax offers free lacrosse clinics, partners with schools to start-up teams for boys and girls, and provides access to quality equipment ensuring these players have the resources to play to the best of their ability. CityLax also organizes college exposure teams and has a strong coaching and mentoring program to augment the college process for CityLax program participants, giving student-athletes in these communities the opportunity shine both off and on the field. The sixth Annual CityLax Benefit Gala will help ensure its programs, created on behalf of New York City’s youth, can continue into the future.
CityLax, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse in New York City in a public-private partnership with the Public School (PSAL) system and in partnerships and alliances with community-based organizations. We are currently focused on introducing and expanding lacrosse into New York City schools and geographies that historically have had little or no access to the game and that are predominantly comprised of populations from lower income families. Through a character-based mentoring/coaching program, CityLax uses lacrosse as a teaching mechanism for helping student-athletes see the value of taking charge of their education, living a healthier lifestyle, and developing life skills for successful college and career advancement. Learn more at www.citylax.org.