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'Adventure Night' at Park Forest Elementary Brings School Together for Mack Brady

by on June 08, 2013 3:25 PM

More than a dozen green and black striped State College Celtics soccer jerseys could be spotted zipping around the playground of Park Forest Elementary School Friday night. The boys wore them in memory of their teammate who once wore number seven, and who they said would have been having so much fun that night. 

Mack Brady died on New Year's Eve from a bacterial infection at only eight-years-old. His two best friends, Adalee Wasikonis and John Cobes, knew there had to be something they could do to honor their best friend who had always been there to play with them. Mack loved soccer and any adventure he could find. Adalee, in sixth grade, remembered how much Mack loved building a teepee with her and John, who is in the third grade. 

That was the start of plans to build a teepee-shaped jungle gym in Mack's honor. The teepee will be built on the Park Forest Elementary School playground, once there's enough money to build it.

More than $3,000 was collected by the school children and nearly $1,400 came in from the Parent Teacher Organization. 

On Friday, an 'Adventure Night' fundraiser was held at Park Forest Elementary School. The place was packed – more than 500 people had made reservations to be at the dinner. There were arts and crafts – students could make their own mini teepee – games, raffles, face painting and concession stands students ran all by themselves, dispensing cotton candy and lemonade. 

"Mack would have been in the water and on the climbing wall a lot, too," says nine-year-old Alex, who plays midfield on the soccer team. His buddy, John, said he knew Mack would have been having fun. 

Some of the boys from the State College Celtics said they'd be showing other Adventure Night attendees how to play a little soccer. Michael and Quinn said if Mack had been there, people would have left knowing a lot more about great goalkeeping. 

Mack's parents, Christian and Elizabeth Brady, spent Friday at Adventure Night with their 16-year-old daughter. 

Brady is Dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, where more than $130,000 has been raised for the Mack Brady Soccer Fund. The fund was started in Mack's memory and will benefit a member of the Penn State men's soccer team. On June 23, a game between the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls will be played in Mack's honor. And the Penn State soccer team will wear patches on the backs of their jerseys in his memory next season.

"It's very humbling," Brady said. 

More information about the Mack Brady Soccer Fund is available online.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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