"We are #JVStrong"
Jake Vinyard Foundation
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.
Our goal this year is to raise $33,000. All proceeds from this tournament go towards organizations that we support as well as right back into our community. We have aligned formally with the AFSP as a Chicago Out of The Darkness Walk Sponsor, Blue Help, Illinois Firefighter Peer Support Organization, Chicago Police Chaplains Ministries, Stop Soldier Suicide and others to help raise awareness for suicide prevention. You have helped us help others.
We have also been part of a book that was authored and just released in May 2019 on Amazon. It's called "Living On The Edge, Teen Edition", authored by Gary Roe. We have become good friends with Gary and have learned a lot from him that has helped me go into schools and speak to middle school students and teachers about the difficult subject of suicide. We will be purchasing many of these short books to have available to parents and teens at the tournament and also to take with me when I go speak at schools.
We simply want to give back and pay it forward for others in Jake’s memory. Through the Jake Vinyard Foundation we will be able to accomplish our goals.
We have received great support from our community and we want to continue supporting others that need that same support.
Randy, Kelly, Kaitlyn, Kayla & Haley Vinyard
4th Annual Jake Vinyard #JVStrong Memorial Tournament