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By Zach Cavanagh

Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour charity lacrosse event that benefits veterans and active-duty military, held its fifth annual California event on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Dana Hills High School.

The event ran from 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. on Sunday with 23 one-hour lacrosse games, as well as a skills clinic and the event’s first veteran’s ceremony preceding the veteran and active-duty military game.

The California event, returning to Dana Hills for the fourth time after a one-year hiatus for field renovation last year, raised nearly $40,000;. The event has raised more than $4 million in its history across the country.

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“For me, it’s the vets,” event organizer Michelle Hankin said of what keeps this event going strong. “It’s the presence of these young men and women that come out and do this work. We stay engaged with them, and we promote it to these young people so they understand they get to play this game because of these people.”

The event helps support veterans and wounded veterans transitioning back into society. The event supports organizations such as Wounded Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, which houses veterans free for a year and retrains them and gives them skills.

Shootout for Soldiers began in Baltimore in 2012, when a group of high school students looked to break a world record. They played the longest continuous game of lacrosse and raised more than $100,000 in the initial event.

The California event brought out players of all types and backgrounds, including Vietnam veteran and goalie Carey Mangold, 71, of Huntington Beach.

“In my opinion, it’s for the real heroes,” Mangold said of the event. “The guys that didn’t come back, the guys that came back with parts missing, the guys that came back mentally messed up.”

Mangold has played lacrosse since he was 8 years old, and after his military service, he co-founded the San Diego State lacrosse program. Mangold plays only twice a year now—in the San Diego State alumni game and Shootout for Soldiers.

Mangold took a wicked shot off the hand, but he shook it off and plans to return next year.


Zach Cavanagh
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports.

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