Greens Farms Academy

An Independent Co-Ed Day School For Grades PreK-12

Girls Lax Program Makes Bronx Connection

A good idea by a pair of Greens Farms Academy lacrosse players turned into a day full of memories for a group of younger players from New York City.

The Dragons girls varsity lacrosse program played host to nearly three dozen young players from Bronx Lacrosse on Saturday, holding a clinic and pizza party for the city-based squad.

“We brought up 30 of our girls just to give them an opportunity to experience some different things,” said Bronx Lacrosse Founder and President Dan Leventhal, who grew up in Westchester County and played lacrosse at Horace Greeley. “This was just a great day for everybody involved.”

The idea started when GFA juniors Stephanie Wistreich and Meg Nesi came up with the idea for a GFA club called: “Team Up For Others.”

“We wanted to do something to facilitate each sports team volunteering or doing some sort of community service,” Wistreich explained.

“We have so many opportunities here at GFA and a lot of people don’t realize what we have isn’t available to people in some other areas,” Nesi added. “We just wanted to share the sports we love with other people.”

A prior relationship between first-year GFA head coach Ciara Thurlow and Bronx Lacrosse board member Cindy Wiseman connected the Dragons with the fledgling inner-city program, which is based out of two South Bronx schools.

Thurlow and Wiseman had been co-head coaches with the very successful Wilton High School program previously.

"It was amazing. It was an absolutely inspiring event for all the girls," Thurlow said. "It's going to forge a lot of relationships down the line and inspire a younger generation of girls to give back, as well."

Just stepping off the bus in Westport, the Bronx Lacrosse players saw a world many hadn’t seen before.

“We’re in an area where we don’t get to experience things like this,” said Leventhal, who founded Bronx Lacrosse just two years ago. “We don’t see fields like these, or hear birds singing. We’re just using lacrosse to give them a chance to experience things like this and to meet different people from different backgrounds.”

The Dragons players ran the Bronx Lacrosse players through a series of drills to become better players, as well, lining up three different stations to work through.

The arrangement allowed both teams to get something out of the morning.

“For our team, it’s a really good bonding activity,” Nesi said. “Plus, we get to give back to the lacrosse community. It means so much to both of us. It’s an amazing opportunity and the [Bronx Lacrosse] girls did such an amazing job.”

Following the clinic — and an impromptu on-field dance party — both teams headed to the GFA cafeteria where the Dragons got another life lesson from their young proteges.

"Some of the girls live in shelters and they were telling us that the pizzas they had were the first time they had eaten since they had been in school on Friday," Thurlow said. "It was really eye-opening, the perils and obstacles some children are going through and it's only 30 miles away."

If Wistreich and Nesi have their ways, Saturday’s efforts are just a first in a long connection between the two programs moving forward.

“I’m hoping we can build a relationship that lasts a long time and GFA can keep working with Bronx Lacrosse,” Wistreich said. “Hopefully, maybe down the road, we can go down to the Bronx and help them get some new equipment, as well.”

Leventhal is hoping for the same long-term relationship.

“GFA has been amazing. Your girls have done an amazing job,” Leventhal said. “I hope we can come back next year.”