Major League Lacrosse and New Balance combined to raise $53,308 for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which is dedicated to bringing comfort and support to wounded servicemen and women and their families. New Balance provided 40 limited-edition camouflage jerseys that were worn by the MLL All Stars during their game July 8 at Harvard Stadium in Boston.
The silent auction began July 8 at the All Star game and continued online on the MLL website until July 18. The jerseys raised $26,654 and New Balance matched the donation for a total of $53,308.
All funds raised will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project in a special check presentation during MLLs Thursday night ESPN2 game between the Boston Cannons and Rochester Rattlers. Between the first and second quarter Rob DeMartini, CEO of New Balance, and MLL Commissioner Dave Gross will present the check to John Fernandez, Director of Alumni and Outreach for WWP. The game will be aired live with a 7:00 pm start time.
Fernandez is a former Army lacrosse player who lost both of his feet in Iraq. WWP currently reaches thousands of wounded servicemen and women, providing assistance and support in the transition from a hospital bed to an independent and productive life. Services provided by WWP include combat stress seminars, adaptive sports opportunities and rehabilitation.
During the All Star game the Eastern Conference All Stars wore jerseys with green camouflage while the Western Conference All Stars wore sand camouflage. Each jersey featured an American Flag with the All Star players name and number and was signed by the individual players after the game.
“We are very proud to have partnered with New Balance on this important cause,” said Gross. “It is a great honor to support our troops by helping the Wounded Warrior Project and we were thrilled with the response the auction received from our fans.”
“This was a unique opportunity to recognize our armed forces and their many contributions,” says Rob DeMartini, New Balance CEO. “We are excited to be able to honor them and support the work of the Wounded Warrior Project through our sponsorship of Major League Lacrosse,” says Rob DeMartini, New Balance CEO.
The auction inspired some great stories during the bidding process. The Mikey Powell jersey finished with a price of $2,010 at the conclusion of the auction. However, when Mark Cruise (the winning bidder) discovered the Powell jersey was not the highest bidded jersey amongst the 40 jerseys he raised his own winning bid $500. Cruise felt that Powell is such an ambassador for the sport and hero to so many kids that his jersey should have the distinction of bringing in the most money.
Los Angeles Riptide goalie Mickey Jarboe, a 2000 Naval Academy graduate and US Navy Helicopter pilot, saw his jersey go for $1,200. His jersey was bid on by some of his friends in Florida. Most are ex-military people who think its a great cause and are fans of Jarboe. They plan to raffle off the jersey again at an event in August to raise even more money for WWP.