Millers Help Build L.A. Lacrosse
(The following is an expanded version of a story that appears in the 2011 US Lacrosse Annual Report.)
The late Charles "Chuck" Miller and his wife Carolyn have played a major role in helping to develop lacrosse in the Los Angeles area for more than a decade.
||The generous support of the Miller family has been critical to the growth of lacrosse in Los Angeles.
"Over the past 10 years, there has been one family that stands out in terms of exceptional leadership," said Nancy Sheinbein, president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of US Lacrosse. "Their strategic vision to provide support to coaches’ and officials’ training, and youth development has been the catalyst to our surge of growth."
The Millers’ support allowed a physical education youth development program to begin in 2010 and has since hosted free clinics at more than 30 schools, reaching 11,000 students and 90 teachers as a result of their generosity. While lacrosse instructors teach the fundamentals of the game to students, the program director reviews the US Lacrosse Physical Education Curriculum with teachers on an individualized basis, with the ultimate goal of incorporating a lacrosse unit into the school’s P.E. program.
In the early 2000s, Chuck, a member of the executive board of the Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign for the renovation and preservation of the Rose Bowl, had a vision to combine his love for lacrosse with one of the most iconic sports venues in the country. Earlier this month, with the Millers’ support, the Greater Los Angeles Chapter hosted the 10th annual Rose Bowl Jamboree, an event near and dear to the Millers’ hearts that has helped the sport develop and prosper, at Rose Bowl Stadium. What once began as a competition outlet for the only nine girls high school club teams in the Los Angeles/Orange County area grew to almost 50 teams by 2008 and now features California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) varsity teams only, a true testament to the growth of the sport in Southern California.
"It’s good to see things continue instead of fold," Carolyn Miller said.
Chuck Miller not only supported youth and high school lacrosse, but was a devoted fan of Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater, and personally funded the women’s varsity lacrosse program at Occidental College, which began NCAA Division III play in 2010.
Even after Chuck’s passing in November 2011 at the age of 83, the family continues to dream big for lacrosse in California. Carolyn and her daughters maintain their support of the chapter to help grow the game and provide more opportunities for kids to play. The family ultimately wants to see lacrosse expand to all the public and private schools in the state.
"They touch the lives of thousands of children with their generosity," Sheinbein said. "Learning life skills through participation in sports is a valuable opportunity, often with a lifetime of benefit."
Carolyn’s dreams for lacrosse don’t stop there: "I would love to see a Rose Bowl lacrosse game like the Rose Bowl football game; that would be my ultimate, ultimate dream."
With a little time and support from a few more families like hers, she just might see that dream come true.
- Lane Errington and Emily Gibson
US Lacrosse awarded 100 school programs physical education equipment grants in 2011, each of which included 30 physical education soft lacrosse sticks, 30 balls, and a US Lacrosse Curriculum Guide and Reproducables. To learn more about the US Lacrosse Physical Education Curriculum, please click here.