Shannon Jordan took the cue from her introduction Monday evening during the Washington Inner City Lacrosse Foundation's award ceremony at River Creek Country Club in Leesburg to stand up from her dinner table and belt out the word "Caaaayoooogaaaa!"
"Cayuga" was the name of the youth team the 15-year-old Booker T. Washington Public Charter School sophomore had coached this summer in an instructional camp in the District, where the foundation also known as Winners Lacrosse has been attempting to teach the game to inner city and underprivileged youth.
Jordan's brilliant smile and enthusiasm for the game became well known among campers who followed her cry. And those two qualities were all the more evident after she accepted the Winner of the Year Award, which cited her efforts to lobby high school administrators for a lacrosse program.
"I love the game of lacrosse, I really do," said Jordan, who played primarily defense as a freshman last season for Hyde Leadership Public Charter School. "I had to do some community service hours this past summer, and when I learned about the lacrosse camp, I decided to give it a try. I had a blast."
The awards ceremony followed a full golf tournament at River Creek, and there was also an auction and raffle on behalf of Winners Lacrosse, which, according to founder and president Bruce Baschuk, has grown considerably in participation and funding since its inception. River Creek has hosted the Winners Lacrosse fundraiser for five straight years.
The foundation's executive director, Adora Curry, tallied the proceeds raised during Monday's fundraising at more than $42,800. Items at the auction included gift packages, trips and sports-related items such as an autographed LaVar Arrington football and tickets to Georgetown University basketball games.
"This one single day helps run our entire program for the rest of the year," said Curry, who graduated from Howard University in 1999 after playing lacrosse there for the first all-black women's team. "A lot of that goes to the regional teams because we have things like insurance and transportation. There's just so much that goes into putting together a team and making sure they are taken care of."
Curry also said Winners Lacrosse, which runs its summer camp at Archbishop Carroll High School, must solve its transportation problems by accommodating children who can't afford the Metro system.
Said Curry: "This whole organization is like a family -- a lacrosse family -- and anyone you come in contact with here will always put you in touch with someone who can help."
The lacrosse family includes Georgetown University men's lacrosse coach Dave Urick, a Winners Lacrosse director who introduced the night's main speaker, former Towson University lacrosse coach Carl Runk.
Runk, an East Baltimore native who took Towson to six straight NCAA Division II tournaments and the 1991 Division I final, told a story about his efforts to teach lacrosse on an American Indian reservation in the Midwest where the young children played with colorful long ribbons that decorated their lacrosse sticks.
"I remember seeing those kids who were so proud of the game and watching them play with those sticks -- I thought, this is how it must have been at the beginning," Runk said. "I'd do anything to promote this crazy sport."