Basketball games support safety in youth sports

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The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. The foundation's mission is to promote safety in youth sports, increase awareness of the impact concussions can have on mental health and support public policies to protect youth from head injuries. Seen are alumni from schools in Jay and Livermore Falls during one of the boys games. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

By Pam Harnden, Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — The Spruce Mountain High School gym was packed Friday night for the 6th Annual Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation (JLPISF) Alumni Basketball Games.

Foundation founder Jenna Winokur said exhibition games were added this year. The Phoenix varsity girls and boys squads played against their counterparts from Mt. View, a school in Thorndike.

The first game featured the Phoenix Junior Varsity Girls team versus alumni from schools in Jay and Livermore Falls.

Boys who had graduated from those schools played in the second contest.

The night ended with the two exhibition games. The girls played first, followed by the boys.

Donations for the foundation were accepted at the door. A 50/50 raffle, tickets on more than three dozen gift baskets, games and concessions added more to the treasury.

“It’s amazing. This whole event runs on donations, all to benefit the foundation,” Winokur said.

The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. The foundation’s mission is to promote safety in youth sports, increase awareness of the impact concussions can have on mental health and support public policies to protect youth from head injuries. Seen are alumni from schools in Jay and Livermore Falls during one of the boys games. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

A 2011 graduate of Jay High School, Jake Lord was a star athlete. As a result of head injuries suffered while playing school sports, he died by suicide later that year. His sister created the JLPISF to honor his memory and make playing sports safer.

The mission of the foundation is to promote safety in youth sports, to increase public awareness of the impact of concussions on the mental health of athletes and to promote public policies that will protect youth from the devastating consequences of head injuries.

The foundation’s vision is for every youth athlete to have access to high quality sports equipment to diminish the likelihood of concussions and brain injuries. Players will be supported off the field by coaches and managers trained in maintaining equipment, concussion awareness, baseline screening programs and policies aimed at protecting youth.

For more information or to donate visit http://www.facebook/JLPISF, email playitsafe@gmail.com or call 207-931-9606.

pharnden@sunmediagroup.net

The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. Alumni from Jay and Livermore Falls schools are seen in this group picture after their game. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)
The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. Foundation founder Jenna Winokur, at left, and members of the alumni boys team react following the end of their game. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)
The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. Phoenix girls head coach Zach Keene, kneeling, is seen discussing strategy prior to an exhibition game with Mt. View of Thorndike. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)
The sixth annual alumni and exhibition basketball games were held in support of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Friday night at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. Seen is part of the action during an exhibition game between the Phoenix, in white, and the Mt. View Mustangs from Thorndike. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)
Jenna Winokur formed the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation to raise awareness of the impact concussions have on the mental health of athletes and to promote safety in youth sports following the death of her brother, Jake. Pictured at the 6th Annual JLPISF Alumni Basketball Games are Winokur, center, and her parents Larry and Sandy Lord. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

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