The Carey Family Brandon Boys & Girls Club teamed up with WINNERS Lacrosse over the summer of this year as it introduced the sport of lacrosse for youth boys and girls in grades fifth and sixth.
WINNERS Lacrosse is a nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. that was founded in October 2000 to provide boys and girls from underserved neighborhoods the opportunity to learn the game of lacrosse as well as the life skills associated with it.
In November 2020, Lew Jolly and Carol Jolly approached WINNERS Lacrosse to start a program in the Tampa area in honor of their son, Jordan Jolly, who passed away in 2019. Jordan’s life was changed by lacrosse. His family wanted to pass that gift on to other youth in the Tampa area. Matt Breslin, executive director of WINNERS Lacrosse, said that once their organization shared its story, mission and goals, the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay wanted to get involved. Tampa would be the first satellite program with this organization.
NaTasha McKeller, club director at the Carey Family Brandon Boys & Girls Club, shared her thoughts on how she felt about the youth lacrosse program there.
“Their dedication to keeping Jordan’s story alive in connection with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay has allowed the youth of the Carey Family Brandon Club to begin a journey that will change their lives forever,” McKeller said.
The youth lacrosse program is coed and meets twice a week from 4-6 p.m. at the Carey Family Brandon Boys & Girls Club. It does not cost to join. WINNERS Lacrosse provides all of the programming, equipment, curriculum and coaches. The program is also located at the Jeff & Penny Vinik Family Club in Tampa.
“Our overall goal of the program would be to provide our club members with a sense of belonging and much more,” McKeller said.
The UPS Road Code program is also running, which teaches its teen club members about safe driving techniques.