PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) — A suburban lacrosse coach’s car and team equipment were stolen earlier this month while he was teaching a special education class.
When other coaches heard about what happened, they didn’t hesitate to help and rallied to raise funds for the team.
The victim, Paul Hays, is all about promoting the sport of Lacrosse. He coaches youth programs and is an assistant coach at Palatine High School.
When his car was stolen out of the parking lot where he works, his first concern was for the lacrosse gear inside.
“It was not about the car, but the lacrosse equipment for the youth programs, elite lacrosse for the community,” Hays said.
Hays had just picked up the team’s jerseys the night before. He said there was a total of about $4,000 worth of gear in the car when it was stolen.
“He was more upset and sorry this happened, because he was letting people down by losing the equipment,” Palatine High School Varsity Lacrosse coach Christopher Gantz said.
Gantz reached out to lacrosse coaches and others to try to get donations to help replace what was stolen.
“To see their disappointed faces when the shirts and equipment were not here because they were stolen, it’s heartbreaking,” Hays said.
A fundraising campaign has raise $1,200 so far to replace the equipment. In the meantime, Hays has withdrawn money from his savings to help buy new uniforms.
“He will go above and beyond for his family and friends,” Gantz said. “That’s why it’s so important to help him now in a time of need.”
Hays said police tell him his car was one of three cars stolen from this area the morning it happened.
Police continue to investigate, but have yet to find the car.