The mission of the Philadelphia Area Girls Lacrosse Association is to promote the game of girls lacrosse in township recreation programs for girls up to eighth grade, by facilitating communication among all programs on coaching techniques, rules, umpires,
A Special Issue Newsletter Regarding Black Lives Matter
by posted 06/23/2020
George Floyd’s death struck like a lightning bolt across America and beyond. This was not the first
or even the worst time a black life has been lost to hatred. It was one of the starkest examples many
of us have seen.
Floyd’s death opened many eyes to the fact that cold, unconstrained racism still exists in its most
deadly form in America. For 43 million Black Americans, it was a reminder of what their
generations have endured for years, what they are living with today, and what they fear for their
As members of PAGLA’s Board, each of us share our thoughts on these pressing events in this
newsletter. We speak so our intent is known. We speak to share the direction of our moral compass.
We speak to communicate the direction in which we move is forward, toward harmony.
PAGLA’s leadership stands for equality and inclusion for all. We share our thoughts in this special
newsletter so you don’t have to guess where we stand. We share our thoughts because silence is no
longer an option.
Our messages reflect a diversity of approaches and tones. Yet, we are still unified in what we say.
This is what makes community great. Despite differences, common ground is formed. Shared
fundamental understandings paving the way towards better community.
— The PAGLA Board of Directors
Tomika Bryant, Director of Communications These past weeks have been troubling on some many levels. The recent deaths of George Floyd,
Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, and the constant people attempting to explain away this ongoing
problem in America. PAGLA wants our Black athletes, Black parents, Black coaches and Black
supporters know that we stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter
We as leaders of PAGLA have an ongoing responsibility to ensure our student athletes have a
supportive environment to learn and love the sport of lacrosse. We will maintain this focus as we
support the peaceful protests that our athletes have joined. We want to ensure, that when lacrosse
resumes, all of our student athletes know they are supported and, in an environment, to speak up
against any injustice.
Marlena Hammen, Director & Region Representative, South During this time of immense challenge, let us work together to be a light to facilitate education,
healing, connection, support and service to each other and to our community.
Robin Kelley, Director of IT I did not anticipate how different I would feel today compared to just a few short days ago. While
I am still sorting out my mental and emotional reactions to the killing of George Floyd and others,
peaceful demonstrations, riots, and more a simple action that we can all take during these
complex times is to continue supporting organizations that work to promote equality and
overcome the effects of institutional racism in our country. Youth sports, and lacrosse
specifically, offers several great programs that work to serve the communities who were hit
disproportionately by Covid-19 and the associated economic fallout. Here are 3 examples of local
programs that could use our support now more than ever:
So please take a moment to find a way to do whatever you can to help.
Laurie Markle, Director & Region Representative, Tri-County We need to do better as a society. We need to listen, empathize, discuss and act on equality and
justice for all, all of the time. Let us move forward as a society, and a country, to provide for all,
support for all, and equality for all.
Will McBride, Director & Region Representative, East I am not exactly sure how to put into words the absolute horror and sadness I felt seeing George
Floyd being murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. It is terribly hard to watch but has
certainly changed the conversations in my house and the country concerning race and fairness. I
am praying that this horrific event can lead the US towards a long needed societal change and
that a better America will appear out of all this.
Catherine Merz, Director & Region Representative, Central West It is unfortunate that it takes a traumatic event to drive meaningful change, but in moment where
the country reflects on how we got here and how we move forward, we should all look for ways
we can drive a constructive dialogue for positive change around the issues of race.
Mary Fran Riffel, Past President, Director Emeritus I am deeply angered and saddened by the recent events in our country. The tragic death of George
Floyd has moved me and made me realize we need to do more and fight for change. I do not have
all the answers but my eyes are open and I am listening and learning. We have the opportunity
as coaches to influence so many young lives. Let’s make it count. #blacklivesmatter
Alex Ruh, Treasurer A human life is a life no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation or even political views.
With that being said, every person should always be treated with the upmost kindness, love and
respect. Treat your fellow human beings as you would want and expect to be treated. In
everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the
Law and the prophets. – Matthew 7:12
Karen “Schnell” Schnellenbach, Director of Officiating We all strive for purpose and understanding, to hear and to be heard, to see and to be seen, to
leave this world a better place than we found it. “Let’s be better humans” is a reminder that we
exist for one another, that we can make a difference and help bring a return to human dignity.
Ross Waetzman, President
Lacrosse quietly teaches our kids life lessons:
Players are sometimes leaders and sometimes followers
Leaders RUN towards problems, not away from them
If a player covering the ball is beat, a teammate ‘slides’ to support (in some schemes)
In our larger community, we repeatedly see that blacks are treated differently, sometimes
inexcusably to deadly result that cannot be explained by anything but race. PAGLA is all about
inclusion and diversity, not the behavior demonstrated in the gutters of Minneapolis.
We in the lacrosse community speak because inequality directly affects members of our
community. We speak because our brothers and sisters are getting beat and that’s a problem. We
speak because we see a problem and we run to address, if only through discussion, if hopefully
by something more. It’s time to slide ... hard.
If every parent would speak to their kids about this issue, about why equality and inclusion is
important, we would be a giant slide closer to getting off of defense and into a better phase in our
game of life.
Mia Weygand, Past President, Director Emeritus As coaches and program leaders, we need to show our support during these difficult times. We
can no longer ignore the truth. This is the time to question ourselves and reflect on the world
around us. We can influence others in a positive way for change that needs to happen!
COVID-19 Relief – Meal, Appreciation & Hygiene Kits Collections May 29 – 31, 2020
Berwyn, PA – May 28, 2020 — The Lacrosse Village Initiative & Conestoga High
School Girls Lacrosse will be holding its next COVID-19 Relief collection drive on
Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 11:00am – 2:00pm at 1557 Salomon Lane, Chesterbrook,
PA. We invite friends, family and community members to stop by, wearing a mask, to
deliver donations of re-usable Masks, Meal Kits, Appreciation Kits and Hygiene Kits that
will be delivered to local food cupboards, hospitals and homeless shelters.
Appreciation for Front Line Workers and Community Members in Need
The Lacrosse Village Initiative was launched in April 2020 to address a growing need in
our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a safe and socially distanced
manner. Led by Senior Conestoga High School Girls Lacrosse Captain Alex Aufiero and
Head Coach Amy Orcutt, Eyekonz Sports Founder and Coach Jasmine Smith and Shipley
High School Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Shannon O’Neill, our village developed a
program that brings together Lacrosse communities throughout the Philadelphia area to
show appreciation for front line workers and to help community members in need
by creating re-usable Masks and Appreciation Kits for front line workers, Hygiene
Kits for homeless shelters, Meal Kits for local food cupboards. Detailed instructions
for creating Masks and Kits can be found on Instagram @lacrossevillage or at our
website pages, listed below. To date the Conestoga High School Village has donated over
300 masks and 1,000 kits to local hospitals, homeless shelters and food cupboards.
Growing Our Village
The Lacrosse Village Initiative has recently welcomed Upper Dublin Girls Lacrosse,
Penn Young Quakers, Cold Springs Harbor Boys Lacrosse and Radnor Girls Lacrosse to
our village and who will be holding collection drives and other events this weekend
between May 29 th – 31 st , benefitting those affected by COVID-19 in each their local
communities. Several additional local high school and club lacrosse teams are in process
of launching new programs and we look forward to welcoming them to our Village.
For additional questions:
For additional information about The Lacrosse Village Initiative and dates and locations of this
weekend’s and future collection drives:
and www.conestogagirlslacrosse.com (Conestoga High School Lacrosse
Village Initiative page)
We understand that this is a disappointment to many of you. Sports are fun and we look forward to the competition, companionship, and overall great experiences. While COVID-19 has stopped this season, we remind everyone that our sacrifice will help many more people enjoy future lacrosse seasons. We ask you to keep thinking of those future seasons and that you prepare for them as best you can. We look forward to seeing what you can do!
Until then, we wish you and your families wellness in every way,
PS: PAGLA will be providing its member programs with a full refund of any registration fees paid for the 2020 season. These are the $20 fees paid for each registered team.