Red Sox Nation is anxiously awaiting the return of rookie pitcher Jon Lester to Fenway after a winning battle against cancer. While most fans are standing by patiently until the inspirational athlete steps onto the field again, a Northeastern University student has been busy raising money with four of her friends to benefit the Jimmy Fund. Middler Amanda Davis and her team, founders of The Lester Project (www.thelesterproject.com) have raised over $15,000 dollars by selling bracelets featuring the words “Striking Out Cancer” and Lester’s jersey number, #62.
Davis, like her four friends, (Christine Yandow of Emmanuel College, Kayte Eddy of Fisher College, Casey Lennon of Framingham State College, and Courtney Smith of Thomaston, CT) was born into a “Red Sox family.” She started following the team religiously in 2003 and has been hooked since. “I always root for the rookies when they come up and want them to do well,” says Davis. “But Jon’s story really hit home because he’s fairly close to our age, and we also wanted to give Red Sox fans a way to show their support for him.”
Inspired by the young man’s story, the five women quickly came up with the idea to raise money by selling the ever-popular wristbands, originally made famous by Lance Armstrong’s cancer foundation. The women created a Web site and in a few months have raised more than $15,000 for the Jimmy Fund, a premier organization with a long-standing association with the Red Sox. Although not surprisingly, the majority of purchases have been from the New England area, buyers have logged on from as far as Sweden, England, Canada, Spain and France.
Jon Lester was not the only inspiration for The Lester Project; the four women’ lives have been touched by cancer through watching the battles of friends and family members over the years. Davis lost a high school friend to leukemia recently and her grandmother lost the fight against the disease when Davis was 12.
Although Jon has succeeded in the fight against acute anaplastic large cell lymphoma, the womens’ enthusiasm to help kids still fighting has not diminished. They are continuing to sell the wristbands on their Web site and participate in fundraisers like The Jimmy Fund/NESN/WEEI Radio Telethon on Friday, August 17th at the Fenway. The women, along with The Jimmy Fund will also be selling the bracelets at the Fenway on August 14th, when Jon Lester will make his first start against the Devil Rays.
For more information on The Lester Project and to buy a bracelet to support The Jimmy Fund, please visit www.thelesterproject.com or contact Renata Nyul at 617-373-7424 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.