If you go
What: Wounded Warrior Benefit Tournament
Where: North Forsyth High School, Coal Mountain
When: Saturday, Oct. 11, all day
Who: Teams from Berry College, Florida State, Savannah College of Art & Design, South Carolina, Reinhardt College
How: Tickets $5 for adults, $3 students.
9:15 a.m.—Berry vs. FSU
10:30 a.m.—SCAD vs. South Carolina
1 p.m.—Reinhardt vs. SCAD
2:15 p.m.—South Carolina vs. Berry
3:30 p.m.—Reinhardt vs. FSU
4:45 — SCAD vs. FSU
6 p.m.— Reinhardt vs. South Carolina
North Forsyth boys lacrosse coach Don Hilton grew up on Long Island and was in college when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred. He nearly enlisted in the military shortly thereafter, instead choosing to attend graduate school, but the sacrifices of the U.S. armed forces in the aftermath of 9/11 stuck with Hilton and made him want to give back in their support.
This weekend, that goal will come to fruition as North Forsyth High School hosts the first-annual Wounded Warrior Benefit Tournament on Saturday at Raider Valley.
North is expecting more than 1,000 players and spectators at the event and more than 150 volunteers, many of them from Hilton’s lacrosse program. Men’s club teams from Florida State, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), South Carolina and Reinhardt and Berry College’s NCAA D-III program will participate in the day-long tournament.
The 10-year-old Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is "to honor and empower wounded warriors," will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession and raffle money.
Lacrosse equipment companies Warrior and Brine donated a box with more than $1,000 worth of goods to be raffled off. SCAD salvaged wood from a lumber yard to make wooden lacrosse stick shafts that will be engraved with the logo of each college involved. UGA, who had to back out of the event, and FSU both donated a helmet and pair of gloves worth several hundred dollars retail for auction.
Ferguson’s Meat Market in Coal Mountain donated ribs that North players sold to raise money and pork butts and hot dogs that will be available at concession stands Saturday.
"The whole community has really been incredible in helping us put this on," Hilton said. "All of Forsyth County has been generous, and all the lacrosse programs—West, South, everyone—helped us get the word out."
The North lacrosse program’s community service initiative is to help our troops; North players at all levels will serve as ball boys, water boys, ticket takers, and will help at the concession stands and in the cafeteria.
For young lacrosse players, college lacrosse players will give free, personal lessons on the lower fields on Saturday.
Hilton is already planning a second-annual tournament at Raider Valley with both boys and girls teams involved.