(left to right) Mike DeRossi, Tournament Co-Director; Jake Reed, Sailin' Shoe LC; Dave White, Iroquois Hawks; George Leveille, Tournament Co-Director
The tournament began in 1990 as the brain child of two Albany, New York lacrosse buffs and friends George Leveille and Mike DeRossi. Leveille, an active player with the Albany based Mohawk Lacrosse Club, was spending a great deal of time in Lake Placid both working and as a part time resident. Together with DeRossi, an Albany sporting goods retailer and former player, Leveille reveled in the thought of bringing lacrosse to the world class sports venue of Lake Placid. So, in 1989, Leveille approached Ned Harkness, a well known and influential friend in Lake Placid with the idea. Harkness, the President of the Olympic Regional Development Authority based in Lake Placid, had an illustrious career of promoting and organizing athletic events and programs. With the support of Harkness, the North Elba Park District and a number of volunteers from the Mohawk Lacrosse Club, the Summit became a reality in 1990. In honor of Harkness' career of contribution to amateur athletics, the Open Division championship trophy bore his name.
Like most new ventures, the going wasn't easy in 1990. Due to the last minute withdrawal of an eighth team, the tournament organizers were forced to adjust to a seven team round robin format. Needless to say, this managed to result in a dead heat between the Sailin' Shoe Lacrosse Club and the Iroquois Hawks who were crowned co-champions and recipients of the Harkness Trophy.