Homegrown Lacrosse has awarded its 2011 Community Leadership Award to Ben Martynec and Zach Silvestri.
Created in 2010, the award recognizes two graduating Minnesota high school boy’s lacrosse players who exemplify the qualities of character, confidence and community as showcased by their service to the community as a whole.
“Being a great lacrosse player requires more than skill on the field; it also requires strength of character, compassion, knowledge and a desire to make a difference in their community,” said Colin Achenbach, program director and co-founder, Homegrown Lacrosse. “Through their leadership and service Ben and Zach have strengthen our community and serve as role models for others. They are extraordinary young men.”
Formally recognized earlier this month at the 2011 Mr. Lacrosse banquet held on June 5, each recipient received a $500 scholarship for use towards tuition for their freshman year of college.
Ben Martynec, a 2011 Hill-Murray graduate and Woodbury resident, played varsity lacrosse for three years and was captain during his senior year. In his application, Martynec shared how the success he has found playing lacrosse continually inspires him “give back” whether helping coach youth lacrosse or volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels and how community service has helped him grow as an individual.
“My volunteering experiences have taught me many things, but most of all they have shown me that even the little things can make a huge impact on someone else’s life,” Martynec said. “It’s essentially about connecting and caring, and that’s the reason I will continue to serve.”
Like Martynec, Edina resident Zach Silvestri has made community service a substantial part of his life. In addition to playing varsity lacrosse for three years, the 2011 Benilde-St. Margaret’s graduate volunteered at the Courage Center as a power-wheelchair soccer coach, coached for youth lacrosse in Edina, led the renovation of a local park and earned the prestigious Eagle Scout honor from the Boy Scouts of America.
According to Silvestri, these activities build his character, expanded his confidence and immersed him into the community.
“The character and confidence I attained through this journey (Eagle Scout project) has served me in my everyday life and will continue to fuel my passion for volunteering throughout my life,” Silvestri said.
Recipients of the inaugural Community Leadership Award in 2010 were Chris Johnson, Trinity School at River Ridge and Justin Vossen, Eastview High School.