By Jennie Pikowsky, Contributing writer
Food, fans, coaches and players. What do you think of when you hear these words? No, this isn’t a sporting event. It’s the fourth annual Syracuse Legends and Stars Family Fun Fest, a fundraiser to benefit the Elmcrest Children’s Center.
The fundraiser is organized by the wives of Syracuse University’s famous coaches: Nicole Gait, being the lead organizer, with the help of Juli Boeheim, Helen Marrone, Shandrist Hillsman, Cindy Desko and Andrea Autry. The wives are assisted by a volunteer fundraiser committee.
Held on June 10 at Drumlins Country Club, fans of SU sports can purchase tickets to attend the fundraiser and shake the hand of past and current SU sports players and coaches. Proceeds benefit the Elmcrest Children’s Center, a multi-service treatment and educational facility for children with emotional, behavioral and psychiatric disturbances, along with children who have developmental disabilities and serious medical conditions. The center currently serves more than 1,500 children and their families.
Attendees can expect to see Gary Gait, John Desko, Doug Marrone, Jim Boeheim, Chris Gedney, Adrian Autry, Robert Drummond, Quentin Hillsman, star players from the men’s basketball team, men’s lacrosse team, the women’s lacrosse team (ranked in the top 10 in national stats) and the football team. There will be games, prizes and live music.
Wife of Gary Gait, the women’s lacrosse team’s head coach, Nicole Gait, described her favorite part of the event as seeing the families and kids: “You go to a lot of fundraisers and they’re black-tie events or sit-down dinners. This is a family fun fest. It’s really inexpensive and the kids go crazy when they see the athletes. The raffle prizes are unbelievable. It’s not like a silent auction where you have to spend a lot of money, you can buy three raffle tickets for $5. One of those tickets can get you a basketball or a lacrosse stick signed by one of the players. It’s great for the whole family,” she said.
Enjoy the festivities and entertainment while meeting your favorite SU stars. Tickets can be purchased at Wegmans; $10 for adults, $5 for children/students (age 4 to 18), ages three and under are free. Door price is $13 for adults and $7 for children/students.