My grandfather, Mike Perez, absolutely loved the sport of lacrosse.He is the reason why I am so passionate about the sport and about coaching. He was the one who talked my mother into letting me play lacrosse in the first place! He was part of the backbone of the Maplewood Lacrosse Club in Maplewood, NJ. He saw two of his sons play Division 1 college lacrosse. He had a true passion for the sport as well as a passion for community.
My uncles would tell me this one story about how my grandfather piled them into the car and drove from Maplewood, NJ to Baltimore, MD just to go to Bacharach Raisin to get sticks for the whole team for the upcoming season. They would spend hours going up and down aisles and aisles of sticks, hand picking out all of them, setting aside the best ones for themselves!! They would load the car to the brim with sticks and other equipment for the team.
His story is the inspiration for "Kids First Lacrosse". "Kids First Lacrosse" is an initiative that is being started by my family, with the help of the Triad Blackhawks, to give kids and teams from anywhere and any walk of life the opportunity to play this great game.Kids First and A Stick from Chase will partner on future clinics to not only bring kids into the game but to provide them with lacrosse sticks. In its short existence, Kids First has:
- Taught almost 40 youth players the fundamentals of the game at a free clinic at the 2014 Hunger Games.
- Enabled Cambridge (MD) Lacrosse to purchase new lacrosse helmets for players in need
- In partnership with the Carolina Hilltoppers Foundation, donated a lacrosse goal and, with assistance from A Stick from Chase, loaned sticks, helmets, and gloves to Neal Middle School (Durham, NC) to enable NMS to begin a lacrosse program.
- Committed to conduct another free youth clinic at the June 27-28, 2015 K-Vegas Classic at Cash-Bagley Fields in Kernersville.