JAY — The Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation will host its ninth basketball fundraiser Friday at Spruce Mountain High School.

The foundation was organized in 2012 in memory of Jake Lord, a star athlete and Jay native who took his life at age 18 after enduring multiple sports-related concussions.

This will be the foundation’s 11th annual fundraiser and the ninth basketball event, Jake’s sister Jenna Lord Winokur wrote in an email Saturday.

“For the past two years we were only able to host online fundraisers due to the pandemic,” she said.

At 2 p.m., the girls middle school teams from Spruce Mountain in Jay and Mt. Blue in Farmington will compete, followed at 3:30 p.m. by the boys from those schools. At 5:30 p.m. Spruce Mountain High School boys will take on players from Buckfield high school. At 7 p.m. Spruce Mountain High School girls and Camden Hills girls will compete.

The fundraiser will also feature 50/50 and other raffles, food to purchase and a football toss to win a Christmas tree, Winokur wrote. “This year, Life Enrichment Advancing People, or LEAP, has donated a very generous raffle item for the event, but I have resumed the planning,” she added.


For over 40 years, Farmington-based nonprofit has been supporting people with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities to be actively involved in their communities, according to its website.

In 2019, LEAP and Spruce Mountain High School Athletic Director Marc Keller organized the fundraiser after Jake’s father, Larry Lord, was critically injured in a propane gas explosion at the LEAP central offices in Farmington. Lord served as maintenance supervisor there.

“The foundation purchased updated helmets for (Area Youth Sports) football players,” Winokur wrote. “We were pleased to have the opportunity to help keep our youth athletes safe. This was a donation from the (foundation) of nearly $10,000 in equipment to AYS.”

“The mission of the (foundation) is to promote safety in youth sports and to increase public awareness of the impact of concussions on the mental health of athletes,” Winokur wrote. “With the continued support of the community, we are able to provide the support needed to help keep our youth athletes safe.”

For more information or to donate to the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation playitsafefoundation.org or email playitsafefoundation@gmail.com.

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