GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – On Sunday, football stars from local high schools in the area took part in the All-Star Game for Hope to raise money and cancer awareness, and paid tribute to a young player who was killed in an accident earlier this month.
Thanks to Sharpshot Media, DMV high school football players participated in a 7-on-7 tournament and raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
For St. Frances Academy head coach Messay Hailemariam, this cause went beyond supporting his players and community.
“My mother survived cancer twice.” said Hailemariam, “My sister did it and then my daughter. She’s 14 but she’s been in remission for 10 years. So someone who’s willing to do this and not only raise awareness but also collect funds for the Society, I think that’s amazing, and I would do it every day to help.
For the community around St. Frances, the All-Star Game was an opportunity for players to honor Lamar Patterson, a young St. Frances player who died in a railroad collision.
“He had everything you want in a young man.” said Hailemariam, “The best description I’ve given people about Lamar; if you have a son, you would like him to be friends with your son. Besides, you wouldn’t mind if he married your daughter either.
Lamar’s death came as a shock to his teammates, including rising junior Michael Van Buren. Michael praised Lamar as a player as the team finished a national schedule with an 8-1 record, according to MaxPreps. But the bulk of Michael’s praise went to who Lamar was as a person.
“I don’t know if there is anyone better than Lamar.” Van Buren said, “Lamar is always watching you. He’s the best boss. Everything you want in a friend, everything you want in a teammate, everything you want in a brother. I really wouldn’t ask for anyone better to spend time with.
A donation stand was set up to cover funeral costs and other expenses for Lamar’s family.