Dear Friends of the AAF:
We are happy to send this newsletter along to you and hope it finds you well in body and spirit.
This edition of the Alex Archie Foundation newsletter is quite late – the Archie family moved to Providence, RI last November and our timeline was thrown off a bit. That in mind, most of the moving boxes are gone and we have a sense of normalcy again, so no better time to send news of the AAF.
The annual scholarship presentations took place last June for the Girls’ and Boys’ Lacrosse teams for Pomperaug High School. This $1,000. scholarship is awarded to graduating female and male player(s) who exemplify Alex’s love of lacrosse and academics, his commitment to self-improvement as well as that of his teammates, and lastly to those who honor the Creator’s Game. The 2016 Girls’ recipients were: Tess Griffin (Fairfield University), Hayley McCormick (York College of Pennsylvania), and Peyton Fleming (University of Connecticut). The 2016 Boys’ recipient was Jimmy Gibbons who is attending Indiana University. In continuation of a newer tradition, the Bridgeport High School/Youth Lacrosse scholarship was awarded to Josiah Wilson who is attending Denison University and playing on their lacrosse team. Congratulations to these exemplary student-athletes who have honored Alex and the AAF with their commitment to lacrosse, their education and their communities.
The Foundation again made a $1,000. donation to the Boys’ Lacrosse team at The Hill, to support the team in Alex’s honor. They continue to use the check for players’ recruiting videos – a direct recognition of how hard Alex fought to play at the D1 level. While we await word from the coaches about the post-graduate selected to wear #16 in this 2017 season, we were very glad to be introduced to Frank McGlinchey – 2016 #16. We learned through his coaches that Frank took full advantage of his post-graduate year, on and off athletic fields, with an innate sense of compassion and social justice.
And the #16 carries on: Nate Ide (son of Ned and Becky, teachers, coaches, counselors, friends - Hill School) will graduate from Middlebury College this spring wearing# 16 in his final season. He will then pass that along to Chase Midgely who wore #16 at The Hill as a PG in 2015. Eric Neumeyer, Hill ’12, wore #16 for Colorado College and scored the winning goal over Whittier in the D3 Sweet 16 last May. In a very kind note, Eric wrote to us after his season and said this, “Though I never had the pleasure of meeting him (Alex), his legacy left a strong impression on me during my time at The Hill. It was a great honor representing him on the field at CC. My AA16 shirt is worn to threads and I would love another one….”
We recently heard from our college friend, Charlie Meister, who is an assistant coach for the USC Men’s lacrosse team. He sent us a picture of Dan Katzman, The Hill ’14, wearing #16 at USC as he did at The Hill – a great small world connection!
And it is exciting to announce that #16 has been brought back to the Pomperaug Boys’ Lacrosse team this spring. The coaches and booster club asked the Archie family if we would consider bringing back the number. Alex’s brothers, Sam and Henry both wore #16 at PHS and then the number was retired. The Girls’ PHS team has carried on their tradition of passing along the number annually, so we are happy to bring it back for the boys. We feel this is a way to not only honor Alex, but to also keep each new year of players aware of who Alex was and what the AAF stands for. Tom recently attended the season opening Pot Luck supper at PHS to announce Mike Shenk as the first player to wear the number again.
We would also like to acknowledge the PHS Girls’ Lacrosse team for their annual fundraising effort for the AAF during their Girls’ Lax Night with the youth program. And another thank you to the 2016 Boys’ team and assorted alumni who came together in support of the AAF for a great alumni game.
Thanks to the generosity of past PHS players and families (the Freunds and the Prajers), PJ Mara and past Hill players, and three graduated ASU lacrosse players (Dan Davis, Mitchell Delaney, and Henry Archie), the AAF was again able to send equipment to Fields of Growth for their Jamaica programs (fieldsofgrowthintl.org) and a donation was also made to Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse. We have been contacted by a new friend to the AAF: Alix Baldini who met Sam and Henry through Fields of Growth. She is spreading the word of the AAF in Florida for us.
The Foundation sent an annual donation to New Fairfield Youth lacrosse in memory of John Pendergast, Jr.
As we have mentioned in recent newsletters, we feel that the work of the AAF should extend beyond the world of lacrosse to also include suicide prevention. We attempted to bring an activeminds presentation to Pomperaug High School. To our disappointment, that did not occur, but we are very excited to know that Rhode Island has 4 active chapters: Brown University, Providence College, RI College and Roger Williams. We are in conversation now with the main office about working with the Brown chapter to bring a presentation to the campus as well as possibly to a local high school.
We are also very happy to honor our friends, Lauren and Alyssa Damiani (PHS “10) who participated in the San Francisco Out of the Darkness Overnight walk. Prior to their arrival in San Francisco, they raised $4728.00 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – congratulations on their awesome effort!
A forever thank you is necessary to Jay Witek for his pro bono tax work on behalf of the AAF, to Ann Archie who administrates the Charles Schwaab account for the Foundation, and to Cheshire Sport for great t-shirts at cost – thank you very much!
We are excited about new opportunities that lie ahead for the AAF in Rhode Island and hopefully in many places we will discover. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any ideas for projects, teams or individuals who might benefit from the AAF and its mission.
The Alex Archie Foundation exists because of all of you who have supported us so exceptionally and generously. Tom and I, Sam and Henry are so grateful to you and for this chance to keep Alex close by. Thank you very much.
Lisa and Tom Archie
The Alex Archie Foundation
**P.O. Box 2436**
Providence, RI 02906
Dear Friends of the AAF:
We hope you and your families are all well.
Before moving into the events of the past year, we want to extend our apologies to PJ Mara, Alex’s close friend at The Hill. In recognizing those who have worn or been selected to wear #16 in last year’s newsletter, we neglected to include PJ and that was a terrible mistake. PJ: thank you for wearing #16 as a senior at The Hill, for honoring Alex every year as you do, and for your tremendous support of the AAF.
We again had the pleasure of awarding scholarships to some of Pomperaug High School’s student-athletes at the Girls and Boys lacrosse banquets last June. These three girls and one boy were selected by their coaching staff and the AAF Board. The $1,000.00 scholarship is given to the graduating boy(s) and girl(s) player who best represent Alex’s love of lacrosse and academics, his commitment to improve himself and his teammates, and to honor the Creator’s game.
The 2015 Girls’ scholarship recipients are: Erika Foschi (Fordham University), Delaney Yule (Merrimack College), and Caroline Dwyer (The University of Maryland).
The 2015 Boys’ Scholarship recipient is: Josh Pendergast who is continu- ing his lacrosse and academic career at Widener University.
We are also very happy to announce that we just recently learned that Deshaunte Longley from Bridgeport’s Central High School team is continuing his lacrosse and academic career at Johnson & Wales University in Den- ver. He was selected by his new coach at Central, Scott Smith, Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse founder, Don Wilson and the AAF Board to receive the 1st $1,000 AAF scholarship. Congratulations to these deserving student-ath- letes who contribute so much to their teams and communities.
The Foundation made an $800.00 dollar donation to Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse this summer to help defer the cost of new uniforms for the youth players. As you can see they wear them proudly.
The Foundation also makes an annual $1,000 donation to The Hill School, specifically to the boys’ lacrosse team. Ned Ide, Alex’s coach and advisor, continues to serve as our liaison to the school and the team. He shared with us that the monies were again used to film the team’s most competitive games. The films were used to advance the team, but especially to assist players with the rigorous recruiting process.
The Hill coaches continue the tradition they set after Alex’s death of selecting a player to wear #16. This past spring, Chase Midgley, a PG goalie from Ossining High School, was selected. What a pleasure we had corresponding with Chase, and what composure he demonstrated in reaching out to us to tell us a bit about himself, “Sports have opened up so many doors for me, built and created an incredible number of friendships, and most importantly taught me countless life lessons... these life lessons have developed me into the person I am today. I’ve become more self- less and developed more respect for people than I had before... By no stretch of my imagination did I expect I would have the honor of wearing the #16 jersey. This has honestly been the biggest honor of my lacrosse career because I was recognized not for my play but for how I carry myself on and off the field as a player and a leader. Thank you times a million for letting me carry on Alex’s memory, it means the world to me.” We are grateful to Ned and the Hill coaching staff for carrying on this tradition and for allowing us the opportunity to briefly get to know these terrific young men. We wish Chase all the best with his career at Middlebury. He is hopeful to continue to wear #16 for his team there. In June the AAF also donated pizzas and sodas to the Pomperaug Boy’s high school team following their end of season player alumni celebration game.
This past spring season marked a mile- stone for the Girls’ lacrosse team at Pomperaug and their head coach, Mike Fleming as he announced his retirement at the end of season banquet. Mike has been the founding father of the girls’ youth and high school programs in our community. He saw his own three daughters through the pro- grams and coached countless others. He has been a steadfast supporter of the AAF and we will forever remember his warmth and commitment to the Foundation.
Again this spring, the high school girls hosted the youth players for their annual Girls Lax Night and the AAF was designated to receive donations. The girls raised close to $500. Congratulations to Mike and thank you for this generous support!
The AAF received some new recognition this year that we would like to share. Our youngest son, Henry, who is a senior at ASU and plays lacrosse there, was involved in a men’s summer tournament in Lake Tahoe this past July. Henry, some current teammates and some ASU lax alums formed “Team One-Six” and had a great weekend playing lacrosse and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Players were asked to donate some older equipment to the AAF, which they did generously! The AAF in turn covered the deposit that was needed to hold the team’s place in the tournament. We are very grateful to Debbie Braasch’s (mother of Brian Braasch is past ASU player/coach) law firm Brown, Bonn & Friedman, LLP for their generous donation of $1500 to the AAF to cover the cost of the Team 16 uniforms. Thanks to Debbie Braasch for the pictures.
We would also like to again thank our friends at Cheshire Sport for their talent in creating great uniforms at cost!
Due to acquiring this new influx of equipment, in addition to some remaining from the large amount collected by PJ Mara, the foundation was able to make a significant equipment donation to Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership – an academic and lacrosse program at P.S. 149 in Harlem, NY which helps at-risk youth achieve as students, community leaders and athletes (harlemlacrosse.org).
In addition to Harlem Lacrosse, Henry had the opportunity to volunteer for Fields of Growth this summer in Kingston, Jamaica. Volunteers for FoG are also asked to donate some used equipment, so Henry was able to share AAF donated equipment to that great program as well. It is exciting to see the AAF get new exposure in a variety of places (fieldsofgrowthintl.org).
Our niece Jane Campbell who is the Stanford Women’s soccer goalie, was seen wearing AAF on her glove, as she is not allowed to wear a wristband during play...
The AAF also donated $100 to support one of Pomperaug’s JV players, Garrett Uliano, whose family homewas destroyed by fire this summer. The foundation again sent a $100 donation to New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse in memory of our friend John Pendergast.
We are also pleased to inform you that the AAF is now able to receive stock donations through our Charles Schwab account thanks to the great work of Ann and Dave Archie. Please contact us if you are interested in donating in this way.
Our continued thanks to Jay Witek for his pro bono accounting work for the Foundation – this is a huge help to us.
The Alex Archie Foundation website is back on line after a mystery disappearance. You can find additional information about the foundation and past newsletter on the site at TheAlexArchieFoundation.com.
Finally, we are very excited about a possible presentation from the suicide prevention organization, Active Minds (activeminds.org) at Pomperaug High School later this fall. We feel strongly that the AAF should be incorporating suicide prevention into its mission, so we look forward to being able to bring this well respected school-based program to our community. In that spirit, Tom and I are participated in our second Out of the Darkness walk on 10/10/15 in Westport, CT (afsp.org).
This newsletter has grown to be the primary fundraising source for the AAF. Thank you to all who continue to support the Foundation and its mission. We appreciate all donations and 100% of donations – financial or equipment go right back to players or programs in need. Donations can be sent to “The Alex Archie Foundation” at the address below and all donations are tax deductible. The AAF is a 501C3 non- profit organization. Please remember to let us know if you are aware of a program or individual who could benefit from the AAF.
Tom and I, Sam and Henry and our extended family are so honored by and appreciative of your generosity and kindness. Thank you for remembering Alex and his love of lacrosse, his family and his friends.
Lisa and Tom Archie Co-Presidents
P.O. Box 2436
Providence, RI 02906
Dear Friends of the AAF:
We hope this newsletter finds all of you well, having enjoyed the summer months.We are glad once again to have the opportunity to honor and congratulate the 2014 AAF Scholarship recipients from Pomperaug High School. These 5 players are selected by their coaching staff and the AAF board. A $1000.00 scholarship is given to a graduating boy(s) and girl(s) lacrosse player who best represent Alex’s love of lacrosse and academics, commitment to improve himself and his teammates and to honor the Creator’s game. Alex loved lacrosse and also cross country. He was a fan of Steve PreFontaine and one of his favorite quotes was “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” The 2014 Boys’ scholarship recipient is Nick Harper. Nick played attack and midfield and served as Co-Captain for the PHS team. Nick is attending UCONN in the engineering program.The 2014 Girls recipients are as follows: Caroline Fleming – College of the Holy Cross, Rebecca Foster – University of Delaware, Virginia Galante – Fairfield University, and Amanda Silk – Florida State University. Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes from Pomperaug High School.The Girls’ Lacrosse team has been a constant supporter of the AAF, thanks especially to the head coach, Mike Fleming. Each spring the girls hold a clinic for youth players and they collect donations for the AAF. Again this year, the Foundation received over $200.00 from the Girls’ Lax Night. We also appreciate that the Girls’ team continues its tradition of “passing on #16” each season. The senior player wearing #16 has the task of selecting a younger player at the conclusion of the season. We are honored by this support and thank Mike and his team very much.In addition to the Pomperaug Scholarships, the AAF gives an annual $1,000.00 donation to The Hill School where Alex was attending as a post -graduate. Ned Ide, his coach, advisor and friend continues to be our liaison to The Hill and the Hill lacrosse team. He let us know that the donation was used to film 9 high level games in professional HD. The team was able to get immediate game film to study and the players highlight films were greatly enhanced. The Hill also selects a postgraduate player to wear #16 each season, this year – Dan Katzman. Ned shared with us that Dan very unfortunately tore his ACL and MCL early in his season at The Hill. Nonetheless, he wore #16 on the sidelines and was an inspiration to his teammates. We had a great call from Dan this summer, which we truly appreciated. We wish him well as he gets settled in at the University of Richmond.We will share more about #16 later in the newsletter, but first we would like to let you know about our growing relationship with Hilltoppers Lacrosse of Central High School, Bridgeport, CT, led by their coach, Shane Martin. The Foundation was able to complete the jersey donation that had begun in the spring of 2013, by providing red home jerseys last fall. In addition, the AAF also provided backdrop netting for the Hilltoppers’ field, enabling them to practice while other sports were going on. In return, the Foundation was honored by the players with official Hilltoppers Lacrosse jackets! The team had its strongest season to date, finishing 6-5. In the upcoming 2015 season, the team will rise to the varsity level for the first time in its history. Shane continues to hold his players to disciplined standards, on and off the field. Five of his graduated seniors are attending college this fall. One player, Garfield Brown, is the first recipient of the new annual $500. AAF scholarship – given to a graduating senior who embodies the same characteristics of the Pomperaug recipients, who is selected by his coach, Shane Martin. Garfield is attending the University of Bridgeport and he will play lacrosse there this spring. The AAF also covered camp tuition for two Central players, Chris Chann and Darwin Morales who attended the Gamebreaker Lacrosse Camp in New Canaan, CT this August. Both boys reported that they loved the experience and now have new skills to take back to their team. And congratulations to Chris who was selected as Camper of the Week for his leadership skills. We have included a copy of a letter we received from Shane and his administrators at Central – we are so encouraged by positive feedback about the AAF and its mission. We have mentioned our friend, Don Wilson in past newsletters. Don is the reason the AAF has a relationship with Central High School and Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse. Last fall, the Foundation supported one of Don’s high school fall league teams. The AAF paid for the team to play in a fall showcase tournament in November. Don invited us to volunteer at Bridgeport’s Healthy Kids Day in July. We joined Don and his son and other volunteers to share lacrosse with Bridgeport kids attending summer camp in the city – what a fun, positive experience for us. Those kids picked up ground balls in a flash! The AAF assisted the Pomperaug boys’ team early in the season with two boxes of balls, and again, the Foundation donated $100.00 to New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse on the first anniversary of the death of our friend in lacrosse, John Pendergast, Jr.This newsletter has grown into the primary fundraising source for the AFF. Last year, the newsletter generated over $3000.00, which was tremendous. Thank you again to all of our supporters. With that in mind, Dave and Anne Archie, Tom’s brother and sister -in-law, have suggested that the AAF get set up to receive stock donations. The Archies, with the help of our accountant, Jay Witek are in the final stages of the set-up. Please feel free to email us with any questions about this option (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you to Dave, Anne and Jay for the stock help, and to Jay who continues to help with the AAF taxes at no cost to the Foundation. Our friends at Cheshire Sport helped the AAF again with a renewed stock of the three t-shirts at cost – Bob Bush has been a forever supporter and his discounts are truly appreciated. Now back to #16… we wish to recognize the players who have worn/wear#16 – at least those we are aware of, and for anyone we have forgotten or do not know about, please get in touch with us. We are realizing that Alex’s spirit is carried on in many states, on many lacrosse fields and hockey rinks, which is quite amazing. So here we go: Sam and Henry Archie -PHS (#16 was retired at PHS Boys’ lacrosse after Henry graduated), Henry Archie - ASU, PHS Girls’ Lacrosse, Ricky Pitman - WCSU, Mike Curcio – Summer League “14, Chris Howell - Hofstra, Dan Katzman – The Hill (one of many since 2008) and maybe Richmond, Duncan Saunders – UNC, Sean Brown – Gettysburg, Colin West – Walpole Youth Lacrosse and hockey, Harry Yohn – Lewisburg Youth Lacrosse – wow! Thank you all for keeping Alex so close to your game. A special thanks to Nate Ide who apparently received great interest from Brazilian friends regarding the AAF wristband he wore while there this past summer. Please send us pictures of #16 in action and traveling wristbands. We have a range of sizes in all three t-shirt designs (AAF/16, Stick and Feather, Braid). Please let us know if you would like to purchase one for a $15.00 donation, and we have wristbands available for free. On a final note, we would like to recognize Samantha and Anne Archie for their commitment to the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). The AAF was founded to remember Alex’s life, but we would be remiss to not talk about his death by suicide. We wish so badly that we could have saved him and we honor those who work so hard to raise awareness about suicide so that fewer lives will be lost and fewer families will have to feel this pain. Samantha, Alex’s cousin, has been an active participant in the Out of the Darkness walks, and she has been supported by her mother, Anne (Dave and Ricki too). We are grateful to them for honoring Alex’s life and death in this pro-active way. Tom and I did our first walk last October and plan to do another again soon. These are touching and very positive events should you ever want to try one (www.afsp.org). Thank you all for your continued support. The Foundation continues due to your generosity and interest. If you know of a program, family or individual who is in need of support re: a lacrosse program or interest, please let us know.
Lisa and Tom Archie