Young, the Laker football team’s motivational coach, has been living with ALS since 1983.
It’s time to step up and support Coach Jeff Young by sponsoring a swimmer in the LO swim team’s 2023 Swim-A-Thon, set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Lake Oswego School District Pool, 2400 Hazel Road in Lake Oswego.
The Swim-A-Thon is a fundraiser to support Young, the motivational coach for the Lake Oswego High School football team. Young, a Class of 1980 LOHS graduate, has been living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) since 1983.
After outliving his 3-5 year prognosis, he raised his daughter Priya as a single father, then began writing a daily message of inspiration (now called “In The Trenches“) and soon began receiving emails of appreciation from nearly every corner of the globe.
Impressed by Young’s words of inspiration, Lake Oswego football coach, Steve Coury invited Young into his program as coach of motivation and inspiration in 2004. This began an incredible coaching run which saw the Lakers appear in six state championship games (including two state title wins), 10 state semifinal appearances and a 168-46 record over 18 years.
The team motto of “LO48” came from one of Young’s inspirational letters to the team, ESPN did a 12 minute feature on him, and in 2015, Young was inducted into the Lake Oswego High School Sports Hall of Honor for his contributions on the field and as a coach.
While many consider it a miracle that Young has lived 35 years beyond his death prognosis, it also means that he has incurred huge expenses for nearly four decades without income. He currently lives alone and relies on government benefits that do not come close to covering the expenses associated with living with ALS.
To help defray some of his expenses — Young requires expensive full-time care — the Lake Oswego High swim team has stepped up to host the Swim-A-Thon. Here’s how it works: Each swimmer will see how many lengths they can swim in 30 minutes. The more money pledged per length and the more lengths completed, the more money will be raised to support Young.
How you can help
If you would like to sponsor a swimmer, please send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
1) Your name
2) How much you would like to pledge per length of the pool (or if you would like to pledge a flat amount that works too)
3) Name of swimmer you would like to sponsor.
If you don’t know a swimmer, you can sponsor the team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1) Your name
2) How much you would like to pledge per length of the pool (or if you would like to pledge a flat amount, that works too)
3) Let us know you are sponsoring the team (we will average the lengths completed by all the swimmers to create a team average. We will then use the team average to calculate your donation total).
After the swim-a-thon, sponsors will receive an email letting them know how many lengths your swimmer swam, or what the team average was, and your donation total.
The email will include a link to Young’s GoFundMe page, and you can submit your donation total there.
If you don’t want to sponsor a swimmer, but still want to support them, we invite you to come watch the event and cheer.