We are hosting this tournament in memory of Jake. Our son. A brother to his 3 sisters, a grandson, nephew, cousin and friend of many. We sadly lost Jake on April 8th, 2014 to suicide. Just one week to the day after his 19th birthday.
Jake loved the game of baseball. From his first time picking up a bat when he was 4 years old, to playing T-ball, Little League in Bartlett, playing in RBBA in Spring Grove, playing for the Richmond Jr. Rockets all the way to playing Varsity Baseball at RB, he loved this great game. Jake’s favorite number was 33.
Jake was a devout White Sox fan and loved Aaron Rowand, who wore #33 for them in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Jake also loved Frank Thomas and he was fortunate enough to meet him at a Cubs/Sox game at Wrigley when he was very young and was able to get his autograph on a baseball.
Jake was an awesome drummer also. He loved all different types of music and played in a band called Final Call for a couple of years.
Jake was a great kid and we are still devastated that we lost him. As difficult as it is, we are trying to turn our personal tragedy into a positive for someone else. Watching the games played this week will be healing for us, knowing these games are being played in Jake’s memory.
Our family is committed to make a difference. We have received so much support from our community, which we actively participate in many capacities. We will continue to be committed to our community and beyond.
The Jake Vinyard Foundation was recently established as a non for profit organization. Our foundation’s slogan, is #JVStrong. We have used that and it’s been adopted and followed across the country and the world. Our campaign is to pay it forward. We want to “respond to a person’s kindness to oneself, by being kind to someone else”. We have over 2000 followers on Facebook and hope to continue to grow that number every day.
We will align our foundations with National Organizations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. We will walk in Jake’s memory in October in the Out of The Darkness Walk to support this organization as well. We will support organizations that provide assistance to those with mental illness and who suffer from PTSD. We will also support organizations such as Journey Care, who provided our 2 youngest daughters support at a summer grief camp in 2014 and 2015. We also have goals to reach out to other communities and would like to spread the word of #JVStrong by helping them rebuild baseball fields that need repair. We simply want to give back and pay it forward for others in Jake’s memory. Through our foundation we will be able to accomplish these goals.
We have received great support from our community and we want to continue supporting others that need that same support.
Thank you once again for playing in our tournament. We have worked hard to make this a great event.
Randy, Kelly, Kaitlyn, Kayla & Haley Vinyard
Jake Vinyard Foundation
1st Annual Jake Vinyard #JVStrong Memorial Tournament
"We are #JVStrong"