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JSTRONG Fund in memory of Yarmouth teen Jadon Robinson now taking applications

Jadon Robinson had a big heart and big smile.
Jadon Robinson had a big heart and big smile.

YARMOUTH, N.S. – If Jadon Robinson were here today, his sister says he would be so proud of what his family, friends and community are doing not only to help young athletes access sports, but to set an example about giving and kindness.

The 17-year-old Yarmouth teenager died as the result of a car accident in November 2015. Now, the JSTRONG Fund set up in his memory is accepting its first wave of applications from youth in Yarmouth needing financial help to play sports.

“I like to think that the JSTRONG Fund is an example of how can you can take something that is so bad, but you can turn it into something so good,” says Jadon’s sister Marla Robinson-Pyne. 

“I think that Jadon would be really proud of the way his family and his friends and his community came together to not only keep his memory alive, but that we’ve all supported one another and we’re teaching others and being examples and role models that giving and kindness are really two of the best attributes that a person can have. That’s how Jadon lived.”

The 17-year-old Yarmouth teenager died as the result of a car accident in November 2015. Now, the JSTRONG Fund set up in his memory is accepting its first wave of applications from youth in Yarmouth needing financial help to play sports.

“I like to think that the JSTRONG Fund is an example of how can you can take something that is so bad, but you can turn it into something so good,” says Jadon’s sister Marla Robinson-Pyne. 

“I think that Jadon would be really proud of the way his family and his friends and his community came together to not only keep his memory alive, but that we’ve all supported one another and we’re teaching others and being examples and role models that giving and kindness are really two of the best attributes that a person can have. That’s how Jadon lived.”

The effort to start a fund in Jadon’s memory was initiated soon after his death. Those tasked with it have taken the time needed not only to build up the fund, but to ensure the proper rules and eligibility criteria are in place.

On March 1 the fund committee – made up of Robinson-Pyne along with Steve Berry, Chris Pyne, Tanya Maillet and Melanie Robinson-Purdy – announced that applications for the first disbursement of funds are being accepted until March 30.

The fund is designed to assist youth and families who may not be able to participate in sport and recreation due to financial burden.

Yarmouth teenager Jadon Robinson, who also played football in recent years with Sir John A high school.

Successful applicants can receive up to $300 per year to put towards the registration cost associated with playing sports.

A JSTRONG Fund website will be in place soon.

Interested? Download the application form here.

For more information, contact jstrongfund@outlook.com or visit the JSTRONG Fund Facebook page.

JSTRONG Fund eligibility

• The fund is available to youth up to the age of 18.

• Applicants have to reside in Yarmouth County and be enrolled in school or homeschooled.

•  One letter of reference is required from a coach, teacher, caseworker, clergy member, group leader, etc. The reference letter just can’t be from a family member.

• Application deadlines during 2017 are March 30, July 31 and Dec. 1. The application deadlines are meant to coincide with upcoming registrations for spring/summer, fall and winter sports.

 

A golf tournament in memory of Yarmouth teenager Jadon Robinson in support of the JStrong Foundation was held in June and raised around $18,200.

Over the past year money for the fund has been raised through a golf tournament (FYI: this year’s golf tournament is set for June 8), a ball tournament, a poker tournament, a donation from the 100 Men Who Share group, other donations and the sale of JSTRONG #65 merchandise like hats and toques. The fundraising events have been about more than just raising money for the fund, they've also been about creating community events to bring people together to have fun.

Those behind the fund said it was important not to rush things.

“We really spent a lot of time on deciding the criteria for the eligibility of candidates. We wanted to be fair and inclusive, but also reasonable with the money that we have versus what we can give,” explains Robinson-Pyne.

Jadon played many sports, including soccer, hockey and baseball. He may not have always been the most skilled player on his teams, but he was always a team player and a pleasure to coach, his past coaches have said . In his teen years he discovered his true calling when he took up football, playing for Sir John A high school and also playing on a provincial team that competed on a national stage.

“Jadon understood and respected and was grateful for the opportunities that he was given in his life, especially with sports,” his sister says. “He felt that sports made him who he was. It taught him how to work with others. It taught him discipline. It taught him how to be a better and more productive person.”

And these are things that sports can offer to other athletes as well. Kids shouldn't have to be sidelined because they can't afford to play,  which is how the JSTRONG Fund wants to help.

Robinson-Pyne says nothing would make Jadon happier than knowing his life and his memory will help other young athletes. She says it is a fitting tribute to the life he lived and the impact he had on others.

“I always tell people that I knew he was special and the greatest person on earth, of course I knew that. But I didn’t realize that so many other people thought that too,” Robinson-Pyne says. “I’m so proud of him, that he gave so much of himself when he was alive, and that even now he still keeps giving.”

 

Heavy hearts followed the death of much-adored teenager Jadon Robinson of Yarmouth following a car accident in November 2015. This photo was taken when Jadon was selected to play on a provincial under-18 football team at the Football Canada Cup in Montreal in July 2015.

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