Brothers of visually impaired athletes help raise over $150,000 for wounded vets
William Jordan of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains NY and Jonathon Sarubbi of Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn NY have a lot in common.
For starters, they are both 16, New York high school seniors, competitive lacrosse players, and each have a sister at The University of Notre Dame. Yet the most unique shared trait requires a closer look. Closer looks are something neither take for granted.
William’s sister Lexie and Jon’s sister Caitlin were both born with genetic conditions that resulted in legal blindness at birth. But the story continues to track as both Lexie and Caitlin are competitive skiers: Caitlin, a US Paralympic skier at the Vancouver games and Lexie, a US Paralympic hopeful currently on the Disabled Sport USA (DSUSA) Alpine E Team.
It’s likely the shared experience and years being around many types of disabled athletes that has instilled a sense chipping in and of giving back. This past September 22nd both boys organized a volunteer squad of classmates to support DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports Charity Challenge golf outing. Jordan and Sarubbi met with school guidance counselors to explain the event to secure youth volunteers, all of whom received needed community service hours.
The event was a huge success as over 200 participants, 15 wounded veterans, numerous corporate sponsors and volunteers worked together to raise over $150,000. The funds will directly benefit American heroes in need of adaptive sports rehabilitation.
Warfighter sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for wounded warriors with permanent physical disabilities in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. in partnership with a nationwide network of over 120 community based chapters. Since 1967, DSUSA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Since 2003 more than 10,000 of the most severely wounded including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and severe nerve and muscle damage have been served, including their families. For more info visit: www.warfightersports.org
Kirk Bauer, DSUSA’s executive director and a disabled Vietnam Veteran was very impressed with the showing of support organized by Jordan and Sarubbi. “When we put together a big event, we rely on volunteers to make everything run smoothly. It’s great to see guys like William and Jonathon stepping up to help. Both these boys have been front row watching their sisters compete and both know what disabled athletes are capable of doing. I’m really impressed as they took leadership roles and did a great job. All the kids should be proud of themselves to support some of our finest warriors.”
While William and Jonathon have much in common they split on one import issue: Sarubbi is an accomplished snowboarded and Jordan is a competitive skier. William Jordan is a trained guide and races with his sister, he is currently named to DSUSA’s 2016 Alpine E team and remains a US Paralympic hopeful.