JOHNSON CITY (WBNG BINGHAMTON) In 2006, Binghamton High School lacrosse player John Mack was struck in the chest during a game and went into cardiac arrest. The 19 minutes it took to get a defibrillator to the field were costly, and John lost his life at age 17.
Eight years later, the John Mack Southern Tier Shootout continues to be played every year at the Greater Binghamton Sports Dome.
The tournament attracted 96 teams this weekend.
Besides offering some great lacrosse, the shootout raises awareness about the need for defibrillators at youth athletic events, and having the right people on hand to use them.
"Parents should never let their kids play at any facility that doesn't have basic AEDs first aid equipment," says John's uncle, Robert Mack, who helps run the tournament each year.
"There's no excuses with the cost of this equipment now, and it does happen. I know people think it's a freak accident, it is not. It does happen."
Money raised by the shootout is used to provide lacrosse clubs around the country with automatic defibrillators.
Robert Mack says the money from this weekend should buy about 12 units to give away.