Though it’s been nearly a year since 24-year-old South Side High School alum Jillian Daly unexpectedly died from a blood disorder, her memory and spirit lives on among her friends and family. On June 25, friends and relatives of Daly gathered at Skelos Field for the inaugural alumni lacrosse game and post-game celebration to fundraise for the Jillian E. Daly Foundation, a charity that supports research of autoimmune blood disorders. “Jill had a true passion for the game of lacrosse,” said Greg Rudolph, Daly’s cousin and close friend. “We hope to honor her by having this game in her name yearly for all South Side High School and Sacred Heart University alumni lacrosse players.” More than 60 alumni from Daly’s alma maters participated in Saturday’s lacrosse game at the Dean G. Skelos Sports Complex. Players were divided into two teams, appropriately named “Team Jillian” and “Team Daly.” Though Team Jillian took home the win with a score of 9-8, the players said they were all there with a common goal. “I think it’s important to hold this event because Jill had a very unique ability to bring people together,” said Chris White, a friend of Daly’s and member of the 2004 New York State Boys Lacrosse Championship team, who also played in Saturday’s game. “I have a very large group of friends and a big reason for that is because Jill worked very hard to keep everyone involved.” Later that evening, more than 350 people gathered at Kasey’s on North Park Avenue to continue the festivities. According to Rudolph, donations from local businesses and friends helped the Foundation to exceed its fundraising expectations. Attendees spent the evening sharing stories about Daly with her friends and family members. “I think what the Jillian E. Daly Foundation is really all about is honoring the ones we’ve loved and lost by coming together as a community to celebrate all that we have,” said Kent Lucas, a close friend of Daly’s since childhood. “It is also to show the Daly family that Jillian will always be remembered and her legacy will continue to live through us.” For more information on the Jillian E. Daly Foundation, visit thejillianedalyfoundation.com. To donate to the Foundation, email email@example.com.
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