Capistrano Valley High School’s football team will host their third Courageous Kid at the annual homecoming game this coming Fall. Head Varsity Coach, Ernie Bucher, and his team not only host a Courageous kid as their Honorary Captain during the game but they also spend a day as a team stuffing JoyJars in the JoyFactory.
When asked what motivated his team to get involved with the Jessie Rees Foundation, Coach Bucher answered, “We were looking for a community service opportunity and one of our parents Debbie Valdez had Super Cade speak at her school where she is a teacher. She eventually brought the idea to me about working with the Jessie Rees Foundation, I did a little research and it sounded like it would be a great opportunity. It’s been a blessing ever since.”
This year’s honorary Captain and Courageous Kid is James Janosky from Chino, CA. James is 8 and ½ years old and was diagnosed with leukemia on July 29, 2014. He loves math, he has the In-n-Out secret menu memorized, has met both Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry, and is looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars movie later this year. During the homecoming football game, James will be escorted onto the field with the other captains and take part in the coin toss, with the crowd cheering for him in the background.
On Tuesday July 14, 2015 Capistrano Valley’s football team brought two groups during the day with about 20 boys in each group to stuff JoyJars in shifts. Before each group began in the Joy Factory, they watched Jessie’s video, met James and his brother Luke, and got the chance to hear from James’ mom, Rebecca. During this time, the team had the opportunity to learn a little more about James, the struggles that he has been faced with, and the milestones he’s overcome. James’s mother Rebecca and her family discovered the Jessie Rees Foundation during the September Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month where the Jessie Rees Foundation had the – Going Gold Month Campaign.
Once the team learned how to stuff a JoyJar according to Jessie’s tips, they were told that James would have the final decision on whether the JoyJar was perfect to be sent to other Courageous Kids. James graded them on a scale of good, great, awesome, and awesomely perfect! Once they received an awesomely perfect they got to take a picture with James and their JoyJar.
Graham Hess, a senior, said, “I think with having our previous Courageous Kid, Kurt, it brought our team together and it put into perspective how cancer affected the lives of all involved. It touched me a lot, but I think it helped our team bond by making JoyJars and getting to know Kurt & his family, and we hope to do the same with James and his family.”
The Jessie Rees Foundation is grateful for the opportunities that Capistrano Valley High School’s football team has provided for these Courageous Kid. We invite all of the NEGU supporters to Capistrano Valley’s homecoming game to encourage James and to further spread the the joy of NEGU!
If your school would like to host a NEGU Team Captain, please email our Special Connections Coordinator, Cheryl Ingraham, firstname.lastname@example.org