June 12, 2009
EASTON, Pa. -- A record 1,733 high school students participated in the sixth annual Lauren's First and Goal Football Camp on Sunday, June 7 at Lafayette's Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex. The one-day clinic featured 275 college coaches who volunteered their time to teach aspiring football players the in-and-outs of the game, including Art Asselta and Darin Edwards from Sacred Heart.
The donations from campers alone tallied $62,000 and the day's total of $190,000 is steadily on the rise with the help from outside contributions, including a $100,000 pledge from the Special Needs Trust in Clearwater, Fla.
Lauren, the daughter of Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose, addressed the crowd of players, coaches, parents and volunteers who turned out to support her battle with an inoperable brain tumor and expressed her appreciation for their continuous support. Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall was the keynote speaker.
"Randy Edsall did a tremendous job as the guest speaker. He participated the entire day and brought his son to the camp. His speech was right on point and embodied what this camp is all about," Loose said. "Lauren also did an unbelievable job talking to all the coaches, players, and parents in attendance."
In the six years since the camp's inception, Lauren's First and Goal has grown from just 56 volunteer coaches and 300 campers to one of the largest one-day clinics in the nation and has added a second camp at the University of South Florida which is in its second year. Raheem Morris, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will highlight the day's events as the guest speaker at that camp on June 14.
"We want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who helped make the day so special. Without the help from our Board, including John and Pam Troxell, this event would not be possible," Loose said. "A big thanks also goes out to Lafayette College and all its staff for their tremendous support in this charity event."
In addition to the help from the 275 volunteer coaches, current and former Lafayette football players were on hand to help set up and instruct the campers. With the generosity of its volunteers and sponsors, Lauren's First and Goal has raised over $700,000 in six years, seeing more than 7,000 high school players participate. Lauren's First and Goal is able to donate all proceeds directly to pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services. To donate, please visit www.laurensfirstandgoal.org
Funding has been dedicated to specific research studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the UCLA Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Brookhaven National Lab and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Duke University Brain Tumor Center through the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the US. The Foundation also funds pediatric cancer services including pet therapy programs, patient advocacy initiatives, and social and support group opportunities, and aids families living with a pediatric cancer diagnosis.