Lauren's First and Goal
LFG Ohio Camp Raises $18,000, Welcomes Almost 500 Athletes
WESTERVILLE, OHIO – Nearly 475 student-athletes participated in the fourth-annual Lauren’s First and Goal Football Camp on Saturday, June 22 at Otterbein University. The event, welcoming high school players from 197 different schools across 15 states, raised over $18,000 for pediatric brain tumor research.
“The turnout was fantastic, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the efforts of the Otterbein staff, especially our football coaches, and the additional volunteers from all over town,” Otterbein Director of Athletics Dawn Stewart said. “This event allows us to combine the love of football with giving back to a larger cause.”
“It was an awesome day,” Otterbein head football coach Tim Doup added. “We had a great group of volunteer coaches come out and help benefit this great cause. I know the camp will only continue to grow.”
The camp is the primary fundraiser for Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation, with all proceeds going directly to its mission of providing financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services, offering financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer, and increasing awareness of the disease.
Locally, donations help support pediatric oncology patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Lauren’s First and Goal has raised a total amount of $187,240 so far this year. The 10th annual PA camp was recently held at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., attracting over 2,200 participants.
LFG was created in 2004 by John and Marianne Loose in honor of their now 16-year-old daughter Lauren, a pediatric brain tumor survivor.
“The amount of people that Lauren has inspired is truly amazing,” John Loose said. “People see what she’s going through and how tough she is. Lauren helps put a face on this event and gives kids a reason to come out and support our vision.”
“The people here at Otterbein have been so helpful and really go above and beyond to get this event done right,” Loose added. “It’s amazing how well they all pull together.”
During the one-day camp, players receive instruction in a variety of offensive and defensive skills from college coaches near and far. More than 100 coaches representing 45 colleges and universities from Ohio and neighboring states volunteered at the event.
Ohio State University defensive coordinator Luke Fickell served as the guest speaker, implementing a theme of “passion and leadership.”
Fickell and members of the camp staff were also able to visit with oncology patients from Nationwide Children’s Hospital during the lunch hour.
“It gives you a true perspective on life,” Doup said. “A lot of us get engrossed in our sports, but it’s nice when you’re able to step back and see how much joy these kids have when they get to meet players and coaches.”