Each of our scholarship winners work extremely hard both academically and athletically, they've had a lot of love and support from family, friends, teammates, coaches, and trainers. We are happy to be a part of the support now! We wanted you to get to know each of them a little more now so we went a step further and wanted to take the time to talk to some of those supporters, specifically the coaches and trainers.
Peyton Dowdy our softball player and pitcher has been involved in the sport more than we realized. She has been playing since tee ball, went on to AAU and is now playing on a travel team. Her former Coach and President of the Tierra Canyon Girls Fastpitch Softball, Zach Lemley shared with us that him and his wife and seen her grow so significatnyly and have been coaching her since tee ball. Zach has also even coached Peytons' little sister. But Peyton is a natural athlete and has one of the prettiest bating swings, she won't hit a home run or bunt and try to get to first, Peyton hits it in the perfect spot in the outfield and really moves runs.
Yes we know her as a pitcher but Zach continued on to tell us she's an easy id to coach and doesn't complain, if you put her in a different position, she knows her job and gets it done.
Her current coach, Antonio Zuniga, for the Factory Fastpitch has been coaching her about a year now and she keeps improving, she's continuing to grow and said "Give her another year to develop and she'll be outstanding". He's extremely happy with her performance especially coming off the injury she had about a month ago while she was practicing diving. Him, Peyton and the team are on their way to Utah in about 3 weeks to play in the Nationals Tournament. We'll be cheering them on from here and try to let you know about how it goes!
Antonio has been coaching for over 18 years and wants all his players to grow as athletes and individuals, but to make it the college level. Both Antonio and Zach said Peyton has what it takes, she's extremely intelligent and has expressed going to college already. She watches certain college teams already and has a few preferences but we can't tell you where just yet!"
This past January the Randy Jones Youth Athletic Scholarship Program was launched and 3 wonderful and talented children of service members were awarded $5000 towards their athletics endeavors. We got a chance to talk to the parents but also the children themselves.
Sienna Blanche is the track and swimming super star. Sienna shared with us that she started swimming very young and in middle school decided that track would help her, As she got a little older she really enjoyed it and kept with both. “ Playing sports allows me to develop a good sense of how to work hard and allows me to have fun with my friends and teammates.”
Austin Ray is the Brazilian Jui Jitzu king, he started at a kids seminar and really started to enjoy the sport. Austin says helps with his health and weight while also giving him a distraction from helping with his 5 siblings. He gets along with his teammates and is enjoying making all the new friends.
Lastly but not least is Peyton, our softball champ. She started out playing tee ball and did it just to make friends but loves softball now because she can get her mind off everything else in life and just focus on playing ball. It’s her opportunity to be herself.
All three have mentioned the scholarship is pushing them to be better academically and athletically. The athletes are happy and so are their parents, one of the parents said they’ve seen academic scholarships for military families but this is the first program that they’ve heard of that focusing on providing and funding athletic outlets for children.
We’re extremely happy to be apart of helping these athletes and their families achieve their athletic goals while keeping them motivated in school. Stay tuned because we’ll be talking to their coaches and instructors soon and continuing to follow and share their journeys with you!
To find out a little more and see pictures click on the links Sienna, Austin, Peyton
If you have followed the Randy Jones Foundation for the past few years then you have seen some of the events that are organized to bring military children and their parents who have been recently deployed back together for something out of the ordinary and fun.
Last Wednesday, May 30th a group of military families attended the Padres game against the Miami Marlins. It was a day filled with family fun. All the military families in who were attending were told to meet at Petco Park. Families were also told where to park as well as where to meet.
Upon arrival, everyone was greeted by Randy, given a gift bad and walked through the tunnel directly onto the field. Getting the opportunity to be up close and personal while the players warmed up for the game. Of coarse tons of photos were taken and the kids got some autographs.
After some time on the field and some dinner, everyone made it to their seats and prepared for the game! The first few innings started slow until the Marlins scored two runs. However, the Padres made a come back and won the game!
Long story short, the day was a complete success from start to finish. Everyone enjoyed the game and some of the children had such a wonderful time that it as all they could talk about to their parents the next day!
Things have been in full swing lately for Randy. A major curve ball was thrown back during Spring Training.
Randy was helping the Padres with Spring Training back in March, and on the 10th day I guess you could say Randy had struck out and was dealing with pain shooting down his leg from his back. Turns out back prior to his throat cancer diagnosis, he was told he should have lower spine surgery. Learning about his throat cancer he had to reprioritize and take care of his throat. Being cancer free and the best he’s felt in about a year and a half, he’s been able to take care of his lower back issue.
Randy had lower back surgery and is recovery quickly. He may have a 7 inch scar now but he is pain FREE. Part of the procedure included shaving some of his bone so his nerves aren’t pinched. His goal is to be back playing golf in July and as a reward for getting through all of this he is planning on going to Callaway and purchasing some new clubs and having the custom fitted.
When asked about the Foundation, Randy shared that he’s excited about the Youth Athletic scholarship recipients, bringing more military families to the Padres games and fishing trips.
The 5th Annual Randy Jones Invitational Semi Finals has come and gone, as well as the 50th event for the Randy Jones Invitational and in comparison to last year we couldn't have asked for better weather, it was beautiful. With beautiful weather comes some very low scores.While we are preparing for the Finals, we got a chance to chat with the Tournament Director from Woods Valley Golf Club, Annelise, who has been a huge part in every single day of the Invitational for the past 2 years!
Out of 7,000 contestants, Ryan LaFone was the first to sink two puts in a row for the semi finals putting contest and two teams shot 55 in the semi finals and several teams broke 60.
Woods Valley, Annelise and her staff were proud to be apart of the largest charity golf tournament series and wanted to send a thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work!
Everyone here at the Randy Jones Foundation would also like to extend a thank you to Annelise, Woods Valley Golf Club, the staff, all the volunteers and of course the players for their time and effort! It's always a pleasure putting on the Invitational and watching all those out on the course.
If you haven't checked out the scores they have been posted for every day of the Semi Finals and Finals, the Putting Contest and the Hole in One Contest. Check out the scores and share your photos with us! Use the hashtag #RandyJonesInvitational and tag us @RandyJonesFoundation.
We're already extremely excited for next year!
You might’ve noticed we have been a little less active than usual and we’d like to explain what has been going on. Things have been very busy for everyone here at the Foundation. As of October 1st we launched the Randy Jones Foundation Youth Athletic Scholarship Program!
These scholarships will be offered to children of service members giving them the ability to participate in athletic programs they otherwise couldn’t afford. They will be renewable scholarships, awarded on the basis of athletic potential to succeed and commitment to academic excellence.
Eligible candidates are dependent children of San Diego based active duty, injured or retired Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves or National Guard. Candidates will also need a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The application process is quite easy. The application is located right here on the Randy Jones Foundation website, applications are being accepted until the end of this year. A panel will determine the scholarship finalists and Randy Jones will personally interview the candidates.
Scholarships will range, reaching as high as $5,000 annually.
Keep your eye out to see who will be the scholarship finalists and spread the word to anyone who may be interested in applying! Once we award scholarships, continue to check back here on the site or on our social media platforms, we will be trying to update everyone on the scholarship recipient’s athletic journeys!
Recently we've been talking to a lot of our sponsors but today we have something special, a deeper perspective to the effects some of our events have to our local military families and we were so ecstatic to hear how the day was enjoyed but not only the kids but by some of the adults.
Debbie, mom of three, attended one of our recent Padre VIP events with two of her children. They're father has been in the Navy for almost 25 years now and is currently deployed. Her and her family just came back to San Diego from Virginia last June and have been trying to find things for the boys to get involved in. A few days prior to the event they were offered some tickets to what they thought would just be a baseball game and maybe some tailgating. To their surprise it was much much more.
Many of us will use this weekend as the unofficial kick off to the summer season. But it is way more than just a 3-day weekend and a chance to get sunburn.
Memorial Day, originally known as Declaration Day, became an official federal holiday after the Civil War. The holiday is used to celebrate all the men and woman who have passed while serving in the U.S military protecting us and our freedom.
67 year old Randy Jones, Padre Icon and head of the Foundation, was diagnosed back in November with throat cancer. Once finding out, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Randy lost his sense of taste a long with some weight.
However, this month, one of the greatest victories happened. Randy Jones showed up to PetCo Park and had a very emotional and happy announcement.
“It’s an emotional day for me. Jones said. All the support has been great. I know there is still a lot of work to do. I don’t mind weighing 173, but I think I should weigh a little more than that right now. Overall, I’m just thrilled that all the hard work the last few months has worked out, and I’m cancer free.”
Randy is now focusing on rebuilding his strength and of course his taste buds. While also being extremely positive and reminding people that they can do it too if they are struggling.
We couldn’t be happier for Randy, his family and friends for this great news.