Never Too Young to Make a Change

Junior Jimmy Ryan gives back to the community.

Savannah Steele, Cub Reporter

With over $54,000 raised and four lives changed, junior Jimmy Ryan shows you really are never too young to make a difference.

In the winter of his freshman year, Ryan was upset that he was not on a lacrosse team, and therefore could not play in an upcoming tournament.

“My mom told me to stop complaining about not having a team and to make one myself,” said Ryan. “Thus, Whales Lax was born.”

Ryan contacted friends, and friends of friends, from all up and down the west coast, and soon he had a full team. Ryan’s next idea took the team a step further- they would be playing for his friend’s mom, Lori Beck, who was suffering from breast cancer.

“I decided I would donate $2 for every goal we scored to Susan G. Komen and asked other players if they wanted to do the same,” said Ryan. The idea spread quickly, and before they knew it Whales Lax had over 100 pledges.

Two years later, Whales lax has raised over $54,000 for cancer research and awareness. They have donated this money to four charities in honor of four people fighting cancer-Lori Beck, Sam Taylor, Cameron Cozzi and Liz Lofurno.

“People on the team have suggested the past people we’ve played for,” said Ryan. “We chose people we thought would work best to support and who we thought would like the support.”

Whales Lax still continues to give back. In fact, their most recent tournament was November 18th-20th where they played for Liz Lofurno once again.

“The recent tournament is by far my favorite,” said Ryan. “It was the first tournament we played as a team, and we got first place there.”

Ryan said the team’s motto is “play with passion, have fun, give back.”

He may have just turned 17 years old, but Ryan is proof that if you have passion and fun you can give back and make a great difference.