played host to the seventh annual John B. Novotny Memorial Lacrosse Game & Family Day on Saturday.
The game is played in honor of Novotny, who graduated from Albertus in 1990 and played soccer, basketball and lacrosse during his four years at the school. He died in 2006 in an All Terrain Vehicle accident.
Since his death, classmates, teammates and friends Jack Walsh, Ralph Mallozzi and Stephan (Ben) Lising organize the game each year. They raise money for scholarships in Novotny’s name, which go to current Albertus students.
“The scholarship was set up by John’s mother, Mary Novotny, after he died,” said Marty Moran, alumni relations director for Albertus. “She’s a nurse and is just so helpful to the community, and so the guys doing the memorial game thought it was a nice gesture to raise money to help current Albertus students.”
Mallozzi said they typically raise between $4,000-$5,000 and about 20-30 Albertus lacrosse alumni come out for the game.
“John was always having fun, he always enjoyed life,” Mallozzi said. “It’s fitting to have a memorial scholarship in his name, because if someone needed help, John would be the person to step up and help them.”
Novotny was a part-owner of multiple restaurants, including Bourbon Street in Nyack and Lexington's in Bardonia. When a friend needed a heart transplant, and didn’t have enough money to pay for it, Novotny held a fundraiser at Bourbon Street.
“He walked into the hospital with this huge wad of cash and just handed it over,” Mallozzi said. “Our friend had enough for the surgery and is still alive because of it, and because of John.”
They also sell t-shirts that say “John B. Novotny Memorial Lacrosse Game” on them and all the competitors in the game wear jerseys that read the same. In Saturday’s game, the red team beat the white 11-9.
White jumped out to the lead in a low-scoring first half and was up by two at the break. The scoring picked up in the second, with White jumping out to a three-goal lead. Red picked things up late, though, five straight to pull out the late win.
The lacrosse game isn’t actually the only memorial game named for someone in the Novotny family. John’s older brother was killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Brian Novotny, who graduated from Albertus in 1986, and four other Albertus graduates killed that day have their names printed on the scoreboard at the baseball field. There is also a golf tournament in Brian’s name and a scholarship that goes to Albertus grads going to college.