Shady Side Academy lacrosse hosts ‘Face-Off Against Suicide’
Shady Side Academy boys’ lacrosse captain Ronan O’Connor lost his older brother to suicide in 2013 and is working to prevent others from feeling his family’s pain.
He’s spearheaded an all-day fundraiser on May 4 called The Face-Off Against Suicide. It will bring a full-day of Shady Side Academy boys’ and girls’ lacrosse games in an effort to raise awareness of the issue.
O’Connor also hopes to raise at least $25,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), a nonprofit group dedicated to saving lives and instilling hope in those affected by suicide.
“Suicide is something that has affected my family in a huge way over the last six years with the passing of my older brother, Tom,” he said.
“Ever since his death, we have been involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention because we strongly believe that they do a phenomenal job in developing educational programming and funding in-depth research about suicide, its causes and its prevention.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans.
The event will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Michael J. Farrell Stadium on the SSA Senior School campus, 423 Fox Chapel Road.
Open to the community, the schedule features a full day of youth and high school lacrosse, and other highlights like the fastest shot competition, gear raffle, 50-50 raffle, T-shirt sales and food.
Other SSA boys’ and girls’ lacrosse captains helped organize the fundraiser. They are seniors Colm O’Connor (Ronan’s brother), Jack Naughton, Ella Benec, Emmie Lau and Abby Todd, as well as SSA varsity coaches Cam Thompson and Katy Phillips.
The game schedule includes six Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse (PYLAX) games, followed by an evening doubleheader with the SSA boys’ and girls’ varsity lacrosse teams taking on Western Reserve Academy. The schedule is:
- 9 a.m. – Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 12U Boys vs. Seneca Valley
- 10:30 a.m. – Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 10U Blue Boys vs. Seneca Valley
- 10:30 a.m. – Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 10U Red Boys vs. Seneca Valley
- 11:45 a.m. – Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 14U Blue Boys vs. Seneca Valley
- 2 p.m.- Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 14U Red Boys vs. Pine Richland
- 3:30 p.m. – Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse 8U Boys vs. TBA
- 5 p.m. – Shady Side Academy Varsity Boys vs. Western Reserve Academy
- 7 p.m. – Shady Side Academy Varsity Girls vs. Western Reserve Academy
Donate online at afsp.donordrive.com.
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .