Senior goalkeeper Jason LaShomb proved what a student-athlete was capable of this year when he created his Make-A-Wish program “Saves for Kids.” LaShomb’s program took his All-American skills on the lacrosse field and used it to help make a wish come true for a terminally ill child.
LaShomb, an education major, wanted to find a way to give back to the Erie community that also involved children, and thus “Saves for Kids” was born. The program quickly caught on in the Erie community and became a rallying point for various organizations and businesses. Businesses such as PAETEC Communications out of Rochester, N.Y., Valerio’s Pizzeria in Erie and organizations like the Council for Exceptional Children right here at Mercyhurst are just a few examples of places that came on board to make a wish come true.
Even LaShomb’s class at Grover Cleveland Elementary, where he student taught in the fall, organized a dress-down day when students could pay a dollar to dress down for a day with all the money going towards “Saves for Kids.” This day raised $670 alone.
Just a few weeks ago, Mercyhurst’s Sports medicine Student Association and Student Athlete Advisory Board held its annual 5k “Kid’s Fun Run” with all of the proceeds from this year’s race going directly to LaShomb’s program.
There were two ways to donate to the program. People or companies could make a flat donation of their choice or they could sponsor him for a “per save” amount for which they agreed to pay a certain amount for every save LaShomb made during the season.
LaShomb finished the season with 123 saves, with each save being worth $13.65, raising a total of $1678.95. That, in addition to flat donations, brought the total to $2184.15.
A successful season on the field for LaShomb ultimately translated into a successful program with “Saves For Kids” and this demonstration of a student-athlete reaching out to better the Erie community is what made this program a memorable one in the 2008-2009 Year in Review.