Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier outdoor professional lacrosse league, announced today that a joint effort between the league, the players, and the fans raised a grand total of $48,779.16 for the American Cancer Society during the 2017 season. ACS was named the first official league-wide charity of choice just prior to the start of the year.
“We are very pleased to make this donation to the American Cancer Society,” Commissioner David Gross said. He is pictured here with Sharon Byers, our chief development and marketing officer.
The check presentation was made after the championship game in Dallas on Saturday, Aug. 19. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Ohio Machine are Champions of Major League Lacrosse after beating the Denver Outlaws, 17-12, in front of a crowd of 7,543.
“The first year of our partnership was an inspiring group effort that united all nine teams behind a single cause and we are very excited about growing our efforts next season,” Gross said.
The fundraising kicked off in May with the MLL Pink Challenge, a variation of the American Cancer Society’s national fundraising program, Real Men Wear Pink. Atlanta Blaze longstick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the Real Man of MLL after raising $8,121 for the cause. Denver Outlaws midfielder Drew Snider finished just behind Ratliff in a race that came down to the final minutes, raising $7,198.
In total, the MLL Pink Challenge raised more than $30,000 for the Society, and the Atlanta Blaze raised the most as a team with $9,319. The traditional Real Men Wear Pink program was created by the American Cancer Society to give men a greater presence in the fight against breast cancer. The campaign takes place in more than 200 communities, mostly during the month of October.
“We thank the passionate lacrosse community for partnering with us, and look forward to continuing our partnership in the coming year. Together, we can beat our biggest rival," Sharon said.
After the MLL All-Star Game, every player signed their game-worn jersey and auctioned them with all proceeds going to ACS. Rob Pannell’s jersey fetched the largest payout, $926, and the auction raised more than $10,000 altogether.
The final fundraising effort took place during the MLL Playoffs, when team-issued Cascade R helmets were signed by every player on each team and auctioned. That effort raised just under $5,000.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse, headquartered in Boston, is made up of nine teams: The Atlanta Blaze, Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Florida Launch, New York Lizards, Ohio Machine, and Rochester Rattlers.