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Princeton Lacrosse Teams Honor The Late Ann Bates Through Ann's Love Builds

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Ann Bates, the wife of Princeton head men's lacrosse coach, passed away on Nov. 30, 2011, after three fights against cancer. The Princeton men's and women's lacrosse teams recently participated in a day of service in her memory as part of the "Ann's Love Builds" project.

Women's captains Caroline Rehfuss '13 and Jaci Gassaway '13 and men's captains Tom Schreiber '12 and Chris White '13 share their reflections of the day:

On November 17, Dr. Ann Bates was honored and remembered through a day of service organized by the Bates' parish, Media Presbyterian, entitled Ann's Love Builds.  In total, eight different work sites spread across Philadelphia and New Jersey brought more 225 workers together to celebrate the life and legacy of a wonderful woman.

As members of the Princeton Lacrosse family, once we were made aware of the event, we immediately felt a need to be involved.  Together, the Men's and Women's lacrosse teams came together to provide more than 55 sets of helping hands ready to work to commemorate the life of Coach Bates's wife and Nick's Mother by making a real, physical change in the lives of others.

The women's team members were charged with the refurbishing of St. Paul's Chapel Baptist Church Family Life Center in South Philadelphia.  They were split up into different crews and each group was assigned to a different task.  The tasks included repairing a new plumbing system to the replacing the old one destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, removal of an enormous tree in the front of the church, cleaning the church gutters, the removal of the clutter and trash from the church basemen and cleaning the entire property of weeds, bushes, and trash. 

The men's team members met in Camden, N.J., and were instructed to gut a totally dilapidated home intended to someday house interns for the Future Urban Promise Center.  Throughout the day, the walls were sledge-hammered, windows knocked out and boarded, floor boards ripped up, and one painful bathroom removed.  The pictures from the work sight can attest to the nature of the hard work done.  Several stepped on nails and dust-filled faces later, the Tigers left with the job completed.

The work was not easy, nor was it designed to be fun, but the experience was so rewarding.  In wearing the Ann's Love Builds t-shirts, our teams were constantly reminded of why we were doing this and in whose honor we were doing it for.  Or, as the late Dr. Bates put it best, because "we're all in this together, and every little bit counts."


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