Dave Wodynski, No. 29, gave encouragement to his teammates after a big loss.

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By Jill Fales | NB Indy


The Newport Beach Lacrosse Club men’s team will be holding a memorial game this Sunday Oct. 3, in memory of their teammate and friend Dave Wodynski, known to his team as simply “Wo.”

Wodynski died in his sleep on July 24, at the age of 40.  He is survived by his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Sophia, who is now 7 months old.

The memorial game will be played at 11 a.m., at Peninsula Park near the Balboa Pier (between A and B streets), and will raise money for Sophia’s college fund.

Joel Schmit-Kallas, general manager of the NBLC, says of Wodynski, “I had the joy of playing alongside him as a long-stick midfielder.  Playing the same position as him I quickly learned that he is always smiling and he was always the positive voice on our team.”

All of the players will be wearing a special memorial jersey during the game with Wodynski’s number, 29. Memorial jerseys and helmet decals will also be for sale.

Rudy’s Grill of Newport Beach is donating food for the event. The game and the barbeue are free, but the team is hoping that everyone who shows up will make a donation in Wodynski’s memory.

Kallas shared a photo which he feels is the best portrayal of Wodynski’s eternally positive attitude on and off the field. The picture was taken just after his team had lost the Championship game on Father’s Day this past summer.

“Everyone was pretty upset that we didn’t come out victorious, and the photo gives an accurate portrayal of that feeling.  But then you see #29, Dave Woodnyski, with a smile on his face and his fist out to give everyone encouragement on a game well played.  The words that I heard right after this photo was taken, ‘Hey Kid, pick your head up, you played great all season.’  I’m never going to forget these words and the other words of encouragement which I heard throughout the three seasons I played alongside Wo.”



Contribution Information

Contributions can be made to Sophia’s college fund. Checks should be

made out to Michigan Education Savings Program with the account number noted in

the memo field: 935418.

Checks can be sent to the following two collection points:

• Mailed or dropped off to Dave’s friend Tom Modica at Long Beach City Hall at

333 West Ocean Blvd (13th Floor) Long Beach CA 90802.

• Mailed to Sophia’s aunt, Anna Woodynski, at 9247 Foliage Lane, Munster, IN


Please retain your check stub for tax deduction purposes for states that allow a tax

deduction to a 529 plan.


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