Over $1,200 was raised on Sunday afternoon at Shuart Stadium as the Hofstra club lacrosse team held its first annual “Ferriso Classic,” a benefit game and fundraiser for the late Joe Ferriso, a member of the Hofstra club and Division I lacrosse teams.
A large contingency of the Hofstra community turned out to see the Hofstra club team take on Quinnipiac, a matchup that was won by the Dutch, 12-9. With the victory, Hofstra will host a first-round playoff game against the University of Massachusetts on Sunday, April 30 at Shuart Stadium.
While the club team’s victory and playoff berth is big news in itself, Sunday’s benefit was about so much more than just lacrosse. It was about a community coming together to remember one of its own.
Ferriso, a standout member of the Hofstra club lacrosse team before being called up to the Division I team, lost his life in a tragic car accident on New Year’s Day in 2015.
The money raised by Sunday’s benefit, accumulated through ticket sales, donations and a Chinese auction will go to the Ferriso Scholarship fund. The scholarship, founded by Ferriso’s family, will be awarded to a member of the lacrosse team.
Following the game, the players and fans in attendance were treated to a barbeque by the NYPD, in memory of Ferriso.
For the senior members of the club lacrosse team, the last group of players that got the chance to share the field with Ferriso, Sunday’s benefit was simply an extension of the dedication that the team has shown to its late teammate.
All year long, the Dutch suited up with wristbands, stickers and other decorations with the insignia “JF16” in Ferriso’s honor. Players have even gone so far as to get tattoos in memory of Ferriso.
While the Ferriso Classic was the first event of its kind, the overwhelming success of Sunday afternoon’s benefit will undoubtedly carry on into the future, even after this final crop of Ferriso’s former teammates have moved on.
For now, the club lacrosse team is firmly focused on taking on UMass on Sunday afternoon, in front of the hometown crowd at Shuart Stadium. But forever and always, as long as this team suits up to play, Ferriso will be there with them.