YARMOUTH, N.S. – When Deborah Robinson looked around at all of the people gathered at the Yarmouth Links golf course, her heart was filled with gratitude and love.
Forty-one teams of golfers turned out for the third annual Jadon Robinson Memorial Golf Tournament, held in memory of her son Jadon Robinson to raise funds for the JStrong Fund, which provides money to help young people access sport and recreation.
It was another successful golf tournament as $31,005 was raised, after expenses.
“I always give thanks for this beautiful boy of mine, but when I see these kinds of events it certainly shows me, and everyone, that he loved and touched so many people,” said Robinson, who is the chief of the Acadia First Nation. “I’m so grateful and thankful of the impact Jadon had not only in life, but in death, and the importance of this event and the purpose of the fund to help kids. Jadon wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The JStrong Fund was created as a legacy to the teenager who died in a car accident in November 2015. Jadon had a love of sport and his family and friends want to ensure young people aren’t prevented from taking part in sports due to financial reasons.
OVER $100,000 SURPASSED IN FUND
With the money raised at the June 7 golf tournament, since its creation people have raised and donated over $100,000 for the JStrong Fund. The fund has helped local youth in Yarmouth County through player registrations, sponsorship of teams and tournaments, and through other means. Last month some of Jadon's friends organized and ran a hockey camp free of charge for kids aged 10-12. The camp was financed by the JStrong fund as another means of giving back to the community. (Incidentally, the game played on the last day of the camp ended in a 6-5 score. Jadon’s Sir John A. Macdonald High football jersey number was 65 and #65 plays a prominent role in the JStrong brand.)
“We have dispersed over $50,000 (from the fund) in two years. It continues to amaze me how Jadon brings so many different people together, such an overwhelming positive energy,” wrote Jadon’s sister Marla-Robinson Pyne in a Facebook post following the golf tournament.
“We can only give what we receive and we have been given a lot, by many, many people who support our events,” she said, noting many people also travelled long hours to volunteer and play in the tournament. Teams came from throughout the province, including First Nation communities. Around 50 volunteers helped out at the tournament, which also saw a lot of support through business and community donations.
“So many helping hands and hearts contribute to our success,” said Robinson-Pyne. “Thank you to those who have and continue to do such good in Jadon’s name, he is most certainly worth it.”
When the JStrong Fund was first set up, Jadon Robinson's sister Marla said if Jadon were here today he would be so proud of what his family, friends and community are doing, not only to help young athletes access sports, but to also set an example about giving and kindness.
One group of people who have supported the golf tournament each year is the football coaching staff from the Sir John A high school. Head coach Steve Majury still gets emotional when he’s at the event. He says Jadon continues to be a big part of his life.
“He was a great guy. We wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he said, adding about the JStrong Fund, “I think it epitomizes Jadon, but also his family. They always want to give back and Jadon had such a big personality and he was so vibrant. I think it’s fabulous. I’m sure he’s smiling down on us.
“In our dressing room we still have his jersey, #65, in his stall,” Majury added. "That’s there year-round.”
Majury smiled when he talked about their team’s score in the last two golf tournaments.
“Legitimately we’ve scored 65 both years, without any fudge factor. We always smile and look up, some Jadon intervention, we’re thinking,” he said.
This year the team scored 66 – not the number of Jadon’s Sir John A jersey, but it was the number of the Team Nova Scotia jersey Jadon wore when he competed on the U18 team in 2015.
As for another fundraising aspect of the golf tournament, the 50/50 prize was $1,065.50.
Meanwhile, another fundraiser for the Jstrong Fund is scheduled for July 27-29, when an annual softball tournament will take place at the Hebron Recreation Complex in Yarmouth County.