Florida Tech Assists "Walk To End Alzheimer's"

MELBOURNE, Fla. The Florida Tech men's lacrosse team and coaching staff spent the final Saturday in September volunteering their time to assist with the "Walk To End Alzheimer's" event at Wickham Park in Melbourne. The Panthers made a huge impact in the community, while also growing closer together as a team.

"It was definitely an eye opener for our guys," head coach Ryan McAleavey said. "I think a lot of our guys went into the event not knowing what Alzheimer's was, but by the time they left, they had a new understanding and a sense of pride for contributing to this cause. I think overall it was a great day for them because they took another step forward in becoming men and realizing what good they can do when they come together as a group."

Entering into the second season of the program, the young Panther squad assisted in almost every aspect of the Alzheimer's event. They arrived prior to the event to help set up tents, stands and markers along the trail. During the event, players handed out flyers, collected donations, gathered signatures for petitions and even assisted with the event photographer.

One special moment, for not only the team and the coaching staff but for those in the community who were there to watch, was when a group of the players walked the entire trail with a lady who was in a wheel chair.

"We got a lot of compliments from everyone in the community that was there," McAleavey said. "It was not only a good day for Florida Tech lacrosse, but for Florida Tech as a whole.

"We had a woman run after us as we were leaving to our cars just to thank us again and to praise our boys. It was the biggest compliment we got. These kids did a great job. I am proud of them."

The players also formed lines on both sides of the start and finish lines to cheer on the participants. It was something the players and those taking part in the event thoroughly enjoyed.

The event was also something that touched home for a few of the Panthers.

"My grandfather passed away from Alzheimer's and we have a player whose grandfather recently passed away Alzheimer's, so it meant a lot and was special for some of us," McAleavey said. "Some the captains spoke with the team after the event to share their thoughts. It was impressive to see how the boys came into the event and how they left it."

For information about a "Walk To End Alzheimer's" and the Alzheimer's Association, visit www.alz.org/cnfl/.


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