Bryan James

Coach’s foundation continues to grow

Thousands raised in honour of South Surrey football coach Bryan James

The Bryan James Memorial Foundation continues to grow.

And those at the helm of the two-and-a-half-year-old organization – which raises money for the local chapter of KidSport in honour of the longtime community football coach who died in 2011 – have their sights fixed on even bigger goals in the future.

This summer has been an especially good one. The foundation’s annual golf tournament, held in late July at Meridian Golf Par 3 in South Surrey, raised $10,000, bringing to more than $13,000 the amount the group has raised for KidSport this year through various endeavours.

“It was great. We really pushed ourselves to hit that $10,000 goal, and we did it,” said foundation co-founder Jordan James, Bryan’s brother.

“Things are going very well. We keep finding new sponsors, keep attracting new people interested in helping out – it’s been great.”

Since the foundation’s inception in January 2012, more than $25,000 has been raised to aid KidSport, which aims to get more youth playing sports by helping cover registration costs for those who otherwise could not afford to play.

“We’ve always supported KidSport because we just really like what they do in the community, and we believe in getting more kids active and playing sports,” Jordan said.

In December 2011, while at a company Christmas party, Bryan, 32, died suddenly due to heart complications.

He was a longtime football coach with the White Rock-South Surrey Titans association and was also a founding coach with Earl Marriott Secondary, when the school launched a football program in 2004. James was the Mariners’ first-ever coach of the Grade 8 squad.

The annual golf tournament coincides with his birthday, Jordan noted.

“Knowing the kind of person he was, he would’ve loved it – having everyone get together and help out a good cause,” Jordan said.

“And we really feel good about doing something for the community in the name of a guy who did so much for the community himself.”

With the golf tournament now a well-established annual event, Jordan said his new goal for the foundation is to create a new fundraising event that can raise $20,000 in a single year.

“I’m not sure how long that will take, but that’s the goal and that’s what we’ll aim to do,” he said.

“As we continue to grow, it should become easier to hold multiple events throughout the year, but for now, we’ll sort of do one at a time. We’re still growing, and want to make sure we do things right.”

For more on the foundation, visit www.bryanjamesmemorialfoundation.com

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