Washington College 'Flocks Behind Jetty' - Raises $17K

CHESTERTOWN, MD -- On the morning of October 10th, the Washington College men's and women's lacrosse teams held their annual alumni games. The former players congregated at O'Connor's, a local pub and eatery, after the games. This wasn't simply a case of old college pals and teammates getting together to trade old stories; these Shoremen and Shorewomen were "flocking" to support the young song of a fellow WC laxer.

Creg Fleetwood '03, a former Washington College men's lacrosse team captain, and his wife Jamie welcomed their first child, Jetty Townsend Fleetwood, into the world this past June. The Fleetwoods learned that their son was born with severe brain abnormalities, including the absence of a corpus callosum, a structure within the brain which connects the left and right hemispheres and facilitates communication between them. As a result, Jetty suffers from frequent and severe seizures and faces significant brain developmental challenges.

It did not take long for word of Jetty's challenges to spread throughout the Washington College lacrosse community and an outpouring of emotional support transitioned into a strong desire to do something to help.

"My wife Lisa and I knew a lot of people who wanted to help in some way and we wanted to provide a vehicle for them to do so," comments Washington College head men's lacrosse coach J.B. Clarke.

That desire to help became the "Flock Behind Jetty" - a benefit planned by the Washington College lacrosse programs for October 10th, following the men's and women's lacrosse alumni games. A buffet and silent auction were organized as part of the event, with proceeds benefiting both Jetty and others facing similar developmental challenges. Former Shoremen and current musicians Kentavius Jones '04 and Tim Kerr '06 returned to perform at the benefit.

The result was a smashing success. Over 40 former Shoremen played in the men's alumni game and over 400 people, most of whom were connected to the Washington College lacrosse programs, participated in the benefit. Nearly 100 items were donated to be a part of the silent auction. All told, over $17,000 has been raised thus far. ("We're still getting checks," Clarke notes.) Over $600 was raised at the alumni games via an informal "passing of the bucket" by the women's lacrosse team before the benefit even began.

The impact of the support from the Washington College lacrosse community will not be limited to the Fleetwoods. A portion of the proceeds has already been donated to the Kent Center, a local non-profit which provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Clarke adds that another portion has been donated to a woman who has a child "with similar challenges to Jetty but who lacks the support the Fleetwoods have."

Clarke, who "never expected 400 people, $17,000," thinks the success of "Flock Behind Jetty," is a wonderful example of the real strength of WC lacrosse.

"We talk a lot about how special it is to be part of the Washington College lacrosse program - not because of the wins and losses, but because of the people involved. This really proved that."

2009-12-08



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