HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 16, 2013 — On Oct. 6, James Madison lacrosse took part in the fourth annual Play for Parkinson’s Lacrosse Series hosted by Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. The two-day, invitation-only tournament showcased top men’s and women’s programs from the east coast in an effort to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease and research.
The five women’s programs that competed alongside JMU on day two of the event were Duke, Georgetown, Maryland, Penn State and Towson. The Dukes entered the event after Northwestern was unable to compete.
“We are really appreciative that they (tournament organizers) thought of JMU,” head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. “We [were able] to compete against some of the programs that really gave us some high level competition and [gave] us some really good insight as to what our strengths and weaknesses might be early on in the season.”
The Dukes faced off against Georgetown, the No. 6 seed in the 2013 NCAA women’s lacrosse championship tournament, and Maryland, last year’s No. 1 overall seed and national runner-up.
The Play for Parkinson’s Lacrosse Series is sponsored by the ProjectSpark Foundation, which was founded by former Princeton lacrosse player Christian Cook and his sister, Lauren, after their mother was diagnosed with the disease.
“The real focus is to raise awareness, educate people and to help financially support Parkinson’s research,” Klaes-Bawcombe stated.
ProjectSpark is dedicated to eradicating Parkinson’s disease and improving the quality of life for those suffering from the disease and their loved ones. The foundation works with other institutions in hopes of finding a cure for Parkinson’s. Nearly $200,000 has been raised for this foundation through the Play for Parkinson’s series over the past three years.