Friends of Jaclyn Forms Elite Team to Support Foundation Work

CORTLANDT MANOR, NY - The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation has announced the formation of a women's elite lacrosse team. FoJ Elite will consist of former college players who will represent the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to help raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors beginning in early 2013 at the Bump N Grind lacrosse tournament in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Team captain Artie Spruill approached the foundation in the fall of 2012 with the concept and has been working alongside the FoJ Staff to make the team a reality. The team roster includes mostly former Division I players from across the US who have opted to play for a cause beyond themselves. Many had direct experience with FoJ during the collegiate playing time and are honored to give back to FoJ.

"I think playing lacrosse for a reason bigger than ourselves will prove to be very motivating and fulfilling. Building this team has been a great experience for all of us. We are excited to get out there and share the mission of FoJ and play with the children in mind," said Spruill, team organizer and captain.

The roster has grown to nearly 40 players from across the country and the team's first of three national appearances will be in late January at the Bump N Grind lacrosse tournament in Miami Beach, FL. The team is also scheduled to play in Lake Tahoe, Lake Placid and Ocean City, MD.

The players signed on to FoJ Elite for more than an opportunity to play lacrosse. Each player has committed to helping raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors and doing what she can individually in her own personal and professional network to make people aware of how devastating pediatric brain tumors are. The majority of players have direct experience with the foundation from their college teams and know firsthand how important an organization like FoJ is in helping the children and their families cope through such difficult times.

Spruill laid out the expectations early and required each player to give a personal statement about why being a part of the FoJ Elite team would be meaningful.

"When Bergan Foley brought FOJ to Louisville Lacrosse, we were given the gift of little Emily Beck of Cleveland, OH on my team", said Louisville alum Danielle Hale (2010), now a senior account executive at CMM Public Relations in New York City.

"Emily received her treatments at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, so our team was able to travel a short distance to be with her during her most difficult times. Emily is also from my hometown, which allowed me to spend time with her and her family during my visits back to Cleveland. Partaking in Emily's journey brought an incredible perspective to the Louisville lax team-- while our days of preparation and training were tough, we knew in the back of our minds that Emily was fighting the ultimate battle. I couldn't be more excited to be given the opportunity to help promote the message for FOJ beyond my collegiate lacrosse years"

Former Northwestern team member and national champion Laura Glassanos Callahan (2006) said "I love lacrosse and know Jaclyn well from my time at Northwestern. I am excited to play but even more excited to play for a cause I feel as strongly about as this one!"

"The fact that these women have committed to help FoJ speaks volumes about what they experienced and were exposed to in FoJ during the college playing days. Being involved with a child who battled a brain tumor is a life-changing experience. We at FoJ couldn't be happier that these women have committed to this team concept and are very grateful for their involvement. " said FoJ Founder Denis Murphy.

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