Donna Rose, a strong lacrosse advocate who served for over 10 years in multiple leadership roles with the South Florida Chapter of US Lacrosse, has been posthumously selected as this year’s winner of the US Lacrosse Homer R. Schwartz Chapter Leadership Award. Rose was nominated for the award by fellow members of the South Florida Chapter.

The award was created in 2014 to recognize a US Lacrosse chapter leader who embodies the same qualities of passion and dedication that Homer provided as a longtime US Lacrosse chapter volunteer. 

Rose becomes the seventh recipient of the award, which will be presented to her family in January at the 2020 US Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia

As part of the South Florida Chapter’s leadership team, Rose served as secretary of the executive board and later, as the chapter’s diversity & inclusion chair. She was founder of South Florida’s first Urban Lacrosse Alliance team, providing lacrosse opportunities to underserved students. 

In addition, Rose planned and coordinated the chapter’s All-American banquets, and assisted in the chapter’s grant process. She also coordinated coaches and officials’ certification clinics, and secured US Lacrosse Soft Stick Grants to help introduce lacrosse as part of the physical education curriculum in Broward County schools.

Apart from her official duties with the South Florida Chapter, Rose worked continuously to help grow the game throughout the region. She is credited as being the catalyst in establishing eight high school programs, three middle school programs, three club programs and one youth program. She often coached these teams when no other coaches could be found.

As part of the nomination, the chapter leaders wrote “It was typical of Donna to adopt students that no one thought much about and to show them their own potential and lead them to success. She worked tirelessly to provide students opportunities outside of the South Florida area by using lacrosse as the vehicle.”

The nomination added: “Donna was a relationship builder and a huge proponent of collaborative work. She took many young coaches and administrators under her wing, helping to form them and groom them and help them grow. Four of those young men now continue to run the D&I team that she started. She was the one that everyone would contact to get a new idea implemented because she would build the needed relationships to get it done. She touched lives with her passion for lacrosse and academics.”

“Donna was one of those people who made you feel like you were the most important person in the room,” said Lou Corsetti, regional director for membership & regional development at US Lacrosse. “Her humble personality and dogged determination gave thousands of young people the opportunity to be part of our great sport. Words cannot describe the impact she has made on so many people.” 

Prior winners of the Homer R. Schwartz Award are:

2014 - Jim Old, Hampton Roads Chapter
2014 - Tamara Boots (posthumous), St. Louis Chapter 
2015 - Harry Jacobs, Long Island Metro Chapter
2016 - Don Aiello, Northern California Chapter
2017 - Clark Bell, Michigan Chapter
2018 – Scott Growney, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter

Homer Schwartz served as president of the Potomac Chapter of US Lacrosse for 14 years and passed away in 2012. Due in large measure to his enthusiastic leadership, selfless service and contagious love for the game, Potomac’s membership grew from 1,200 to 10,000 during his tenure.