June 8, 2011

Hopkins to Participate in Play for Parkinson's

from press release

BALTIMORE - Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala announced recently that the Blue Jay men's lacrosse team will participate in the Second Annual Play for Parkinson's Lacrosse Series on Saturday, October 15. Johns Hopkins will join Princeton, Georgetown, Army, Virginia and Penn State at the event, which is organized by the ProjectSpark Foundation, an Arlington, Virginia based organization focused on raising funds to battle Parkinson's disease. This will be the only outside competition for the 2012 Blue Jay lacrosse team during the fall.

A schedule for the event, which will be held at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, has not been finalized, but the Blue Jays are scheduled to play two games on the first day of the event. The second day, Sunday, October 16, will feature the women's teams from Duke, Stanford, Penn State, Georgetown, Maryland and Northwestern.

Last year, the inaugural tournament was attended by over 3,000 fans and raised more than $65,000 for the ProjectSpark Foundation, an organization established by former Princeton lacrosse player Christian Cook and his sister, Lauren Combs, as a means to fight this devastating disease. In the fall of 2008, Christian and Lauren's mother, Diane Cook, was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's. Diane is one of 1.5 million Americans who currently suffer from Parkinson's - a group that is growing by more than 60,000 every year.

Play for Parkinson's will highlight young men and women playing what has been called the "fastest game on two feet" to help those whose very ability to move is being compromised by Parkinson's disease. All proceeds from the Play for Parkinson's Lacrosse Series will benefit the ProjectSpark Foundation. Each participating institution has donated its time, facilities, and travel expense toward the goal of creating a 'spark' to find a cure.

"We are honored that these outstanding athletes, coaches, and universities have joined us in the fight against Parkinson's, and I want to thank the them and Episcopal High School for coming together for our second annual Play for Parkinson's event," Christian Cook, co-founder and President of ProjectSpark stated. "We are humbled by the support of so many outstanding institutions as we raise awareness and 'spark' new ideas and initiatives that hopefully will ultimately lead to an end to this devastating disease."

Please visit www.projectspark.org and www.playforparkinsons.org for more information.

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