Legends Lacrosse, a girls lacrosse club team run by borough moms and former players Kristy DeCarlo and Kim Knapp, is partnering with Leveling the Playing Field to host a Youth Equipment Sports Drive through Friday, Oct. 28.
Residents and community members are invited to support the initiative by dropping off new and gently used sports equipment at the collection box at Tatem Elementary School. Donations can be for any sport, in addition to playground or fitness equipment.
When Knapp and DeCarlo founded Legends Lacrosse in 2021, they both knew that they wanted service to be a part of the organization’s mission.
“Our kids are young, they’re like 8, 9, and10, so it’s super important for us to instill the concept of giving back,” DeCarlo said. “Even though there’s so much given to them right now because of their age, it’s important to give back and help out how you can.”
“Part of raising these girls to be good lacrosse players is raising them to be good friends and good community members and just good, whole athletes,” Knapp added. “Health will be a part of it, giving back will be a part of it. …
“We hope as they get older that we can get them involved in more things.”
Though this sports gear drive will be the team’s first project, both Knapp and DeCarlo expect to continue with service projects in the future. Knapp is Legends Lacrosse’s director of business operations and takes care of the financial and business aspects of the team.
DeCarlo serves as the director of lacrosse operations and works with her friend, Andy Klingner, a Shawnee graduate who used to play against DeCarlo, to help coach. Currently a Haddonfield resident, DeCarlo has nearly two decades of coaching experience and was previously inducted into the Cherry Hill East Hall of Fame in 2015.
While it’s not something Knapp pictured herself doing, she and DeCarlo are happy to reconnect with a sport they loved and with their daughters, who play for the team.
“We just saw a huge need for it,” Knapp explained. “When our girls started playing together, they both fell in love with lacrosse and then lacrosse season was over so quickly, there wasn’t really an opportunity for girls that young to continue playing lacrosse year-round.”
Legends Lacrosse brings together girls from second to fifth grade from across the South Jersey area and aims to play on the off season – during fall, winter and summer – to allow for year-round practice.
To learn more about Legends Lacrosse, visit https://www.legendslacrossenj.com. For more information on the athletic drive, or Leveling the Playing Field, visit https://www.levelingtheplayingfield.org/ways-to-help/donate-equipment/.