Team Jesse will be playing in the Bump & Grind Lacrosse Tournament this Jan 28-30 in Miami. The games begin in the afternoon on Friday, January 28th and continue through the afternoon of Sunday, January 30th. First we’ll provide a brief history of where Team Jesse has been, then some uniform pictures, then where they plan to go and finally an idea of how you can help. All set?
On April 8, 2007, Staff Sgt Jesse Williams, 25, of Santa Rosa, CA, died in Balad, Iraq of wounds suffered from small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Baqubah, Iraq. Williams was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, WA. Jesse is survived by his wife Sonya, his daughter Amaya, his parents Herb Williams and Janyce Leone and his siblings, Sean Williams, Patty Blaylock, Wendy Radwan and Wade Mabery.
Very sweet uniforms indeed!
Team Jesse was started by Kevin Mincio and Matt Corry, to honor Kevin’s fallen friend and comrade. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Kevin quit a Wall Street job to join the Army and served a tour of duty in Iraq with Jesse, where they became close friends. Before Jesse left for his 2nd tour of duty, after earning a Purple Heart in his 1st tour, he asked Kevin to “look after” Amaya if he didn’t make it back. Team Jesse is one of the ways Kevin is fulfilling his promise.
Team Jesse grew out of what was initially going to be a summer lacrosse tournament team founded by Kevin and Matt. Made up of former players from our alma mater, UCONN, and other friends from the lacrosse community, our team was entered into the 2007 Lax Vegas Lacrosse Tournament to be played in September. Planning was well under way when Kevin was informed of Jesse’s death. Kevin and Matt immediately knew that honoring Jesse and raising money for Amaya would be the new mission for their lacrosse team and Team Jesse started to take shape.
custom shafts and strung heads? Awesome.
With the help and support of family and friends and connections throughout the lacrosse community, they got to work raising money for little Amaya and sharing the story of a courageous soldier who gave all for his country. The help and support that they have received from sponsors like Wimmer Solutions, 1Lacrosse, JohnRa Marketing, Brandywine Developers, King Industries, and Lacrosse Wear has all been invaluable. As has been the individual fund raising efforts of friends like Michael Corry, Darren Tappen, Kevin Owens, Keith McMahon and the literally hundreds of people who have sent donations. Inside Lacrosse and e-lacrosse has chronicled all of this and their coverage and support has proven to be helpful in raising awareness within the lacrosse community. Team Jesse wants to thank all of you that have helped…..and played for Team Jesse in the past!
They are now inspired to do more and their new mission is well underway.
The Team Jesse Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization, is the next step in the evolution of Team Jesse. The Team Jesse Foundation’s new mission is To support the families of all fallen soldiers, with a particular emphasis on early childhood education; and to support the broader efforts of other charitable organizations supporting military families.
They are revamping their website and are ready to start their broader mission in the new year. In planning are several events that Team Jesse will use to raise awareness and money for the cause, including our kick-off at the 2011 Bump & Grind Lacrosse Tournament and The Team Jesse Ride, a patriotic cross-country bike ride to meet military families in need of our support.
If you want to donate to Team Jesse or see how you can help, visit the Team Jesse website and get involved!