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EXCLUSIVE: Shootout for Soldiers serves as unifying force supporting local vets (video)

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

For Dr. Geoffry Hallstead giving back to the community has been an essential part of doing business in the Canandaigua area.

Dentistry was in his genes. “It was part of my family growing up,” he recalled in a conversation with FingerLakes1.com spotlighting the Shootout for Soldiers, an event near-and-dear to his heart. Dr. Hallstead’s father was a dentist, and at about 9-years-old he knew that was what he wanted to do with his life.


While the technology in dentistry has changed dramatically- his approach to community remains 35 years later. Giving back has centered around serving those who have served and sacrificed. Hallstead’s daughter is a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, there’s a VA hospital in Canandaigua, and a number of local organizations that aim to serve those who have served the U.S.

He has become a major supporter and proponent of the Shootout for Soldiers, which is happening Saturday, July 29 and 30 at Canandaigua Academy. It’s a 24-hour lacrosse marathon benefitting veterans charities and services.

Their goal this year is to raise $85,000. To date, the annual event has raised around $330,000- an epic amount for a city as small as Canandaigua. This will be the sixth installment of the Shootout, which organizer John Isaac says has become a joy to watch morph into one of the most-successful iterations in the country.

“Lacrosse isn’t our main focus,” Isaac explained. “It’s on veterans, helping the veterans, and the community itself. We do a lot of things. We have food trucks, bands, and things to get people there and engage with the veterans and active duty military that show up. That makes us stand out.”


But that’s not all that makes Canandaigua stand out. One would assume that Shootout venues like New York City, Atlanta, and those in larger geographies would outperform Canandaigua. They don’t, though. And that’s a testament to the people who make the Canandaigua shootout happen.

“It’s a year-round effort,” Isaac added. “It’s a lot of volunteers, emails, banging on doors, getting our names out there, our logo out there, just talking to people.” It’s that group of diverse people, 20-something of them, who make this annual event possible.

In a world where the importance of community can sometimes be forgotten, Canandaigua’s Shootout for Soldiers serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause. Dr. Hallstead’s unwavering support and dedication to giving back, combined with the tireless efforts of the event’s organizers and volunteers have cemented the Shootout’s status as a cornerstone of the community.

Click here to register or donate to Shootout for Soldiers. You’ll also find tons of information on the best ways to get involved if you want to help make this summer’s shootout the best one yet.