Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation holding alumni basketball games

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Seen during the 5th Annual Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Hoop Tourney last year at Spruce Mountain High School are Jake's family members, from left, Daniel Winokur, Jenna Winokur, Sandy Lord and Larry Lord. (File photo)

By Barry Matulaitis, Staff Editor

JAY — The sixth annual Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation (JLPISF) alumni basketball games will take place Friday, Nov. 24 at Spruce Mountain High School.

The Foundation was founded in 2012 in memory of Jake Lord, a star athlete at Jay High School. He took his own life at age 18 after enduring multiple sports concussions. The Foundation’s mission 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 games have been so successful because of the continuous support that we’ve received from the community,” said Jenna Winokur, Jake Lord’s sister and the founder of the JLPISF. “Year after year our community continues to amaze me with its generosity and support. Every year we have new donors that are participating and the event continues to grow.”

There will be four games taking place. At 4 p.m., the Spruce Mountain High School girls junior varsity team takes on alumni from Spruce Mountain and the former Jay and Livermore Falls high schools. At 5 p.m., the Jay and Livermore Falls boys alumni teams face off. The Spruce Mountain varsity girls team takes on Mt. View at 6 p.m., and the Spruce Mountain varsity boys squad faces Mt. View at 7:30 p.m.

Seen during the 5th Annual Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation Hoop Tourney last year at Spruce Mountain High School are Jake’s family members, from left, Daniel Winokur, Jenna Winokur, Sandy Lord and Larry Lord. (File photo)

In addition to the games, several raffle items will be available. There will be a football toss to win a Christmas tree, concessions, and information tables on concussion and suicide prevention.

“I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to host the basketball games each year, as it gives us a time to continue conversations about concussion awareness and suicide prevention,” said Winokur. “If the work that we do can help one family from knowing the pain that mine lives with every day, our efforts are worth it.”

To volunteer, email playitsafefoundation@gmail.com, call or text 207-931-9606 or visit the JLPISF on Facebook.

bmatulaitis@sunmediagroup.net

Pictured are members of the Spruce Mountain High School boys basketball team and alumni of SMHS, Jay High School and Livermore Falls High School boys basketball teams. The two teams had just finished a thrilling game, decided in overtime, as part of the 5th Annual JLPISF Hoop Tourney last year. (File photo)