By Brittany Winter
There are many athletic teams that participate in fundraising tournaments and donate to local organizations. There is one Long Island team that has taken fundraising and awareness to the next level.
Wreckless Lacrosse, an internationally known lacrosse apparel company, and the team’s coach Chris Hein, a top lacrosse player in the mid-80s with the UNC Tar Heels, fund and sponsor the team “Got Checked?”. Wreckless Lacrosse jumped at the chance to help brand the team, and also donated the uniforms, that transformed “Got Checked?” from a group of lacrosse players into a team united with more than just one goal in mind. Wreckless Lacrosse got the players involved in the design of the uniforms, as well. They wanted the teammates to feel as involved as possible in every aspect of the creation of the team, and the uniforms that represent them were just the way to do it.
“Got Checked?” is a travel team comprised of boys ages 12-13 years old. Hein coaches and helps fund the team. Traveling is a key component in their mission. They have played and won many tournaments at some of the nation’s top universities, such as Duke, North Carolina, Princeton and Harvard. The team has plans to travel as far as Denver to compete in future tournaments as well.
By traveling to different states around the U.S. and playing year-round, they are able to gain maximum exposure and spread their message around the nation. This team is comprised of passionate young boys and their participation helps the players builds character, compassion and focus on the overall mission.
With the help of coach Hein, the 13-year-olds came up with “Got Checked?” as their team name. The idea came from the love they have for Donna Cioffi, the founder of the organization who started this campaign.
All the boys on the team are friends with Donna’s son, and upon seeing the meaning and mission of what her organization stands for, which is to be aware of the organization’s positive message to save mothers’ and women’s lives around the world. The question mark is the most important part of the team name. This mark represents the question that requires an answer. Its name evokes everyone who reads it to think about when their last mammography was, or if they are due for a checkup. The result is then possible early detection, and lives saved. The boys on the team were anxious to help in the best way they knew how: through their passion and talent on the lacrosse field.
The team is responsible in supporting their own travel expenses. During the month of October the plan is to have games as fundraisers to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness, and to support breast cancer research through Donna Cioffi’s non-profit organization: First Company Pink. The non-profit organization started the Got Checked? Campaign due to the increase in Breast Cancer diagnoses, but also an increase in survival rates, due to early detection, therefore making “Got Checked?” the team, and the campaign that was started by the non-profit company.
The name “First Company Pink” came from the word “Company”. This was a term used to refer to men and women in the military (companies), who were called up to war. Cioffi came up with the name because as she explained; “In the same way the women fought for their lives in the military, women fight for their lives every day in the war against cancer. Like the companies of women fighting wars, First Company Pink represents a modern-day “company” with the same goal in mind, a goal of survival.” It is the same battle, fought on different fields, but fighting the same fight, the fight for survival.
The goal of the “Got Checked?” campaign is to promote early detection in an effort to save lives. The goal is for “Got Checked?” to be recognized as a year-round campaign by the U.S. Government. The Team “Got Checked?” helps aid in this mission by wearing the logo on their uniform and traveling around the country year-round constantly raising awareness of this cause.
In the same way a ribbon of cancer awareness and support is tied, so are the people, company and organization that make “Got Checked?” strong and united. Every aspect tied together, and tightly entwined, all equally important in their mission. Their mission being: to defeat opponents on the field, and more importantly to defeat cancer off the field. They play to defeat the greater cause. For them it’s not only about scoring goals, it’s about saving lives. With every goal they score that’s one more town, city and state they travel to, and one shot closer to winning their ultimate battle against Breast Cancer, So like the team we ask the same question…Have you Got Checked?