Number of Participants: 35
Hours Donated: 4
Value of Time Served: $1,183
Event Type: Health & Safety
Sport: Girls Lacrosse
School: John Jay High School
Date: May 1, 2023
Wappingers Junior High School
Major Macdonald Way, Wappingers Falls
The participants were our Varsity and JV lacrosse teams.
They wore their James Warriors shirts to school on Monday. North Salem also wore James’ Warriors shirts during our Pre-game warm up as well to show solidarity in supporting raising awareness for suicide prevention and normalizing seeking help when someone is struggling.
While the Varsity teams played, the JV girls helped collect donations and hand out “coping kits” to all fans in attendance.
We chose to help support the organization James’ Warriors because it was founded by a mother who I taught with and her daughter played JV lacrosse for the Wappingers program. It is an organization that I and many of the players in our program personally know and care about.
James’s Warriors website: https://www.
(Information Provided by Coach Sean Rowan)
Here is an article from the Poughkeepsie Journal: https://www.
Playing for a cause
The Warriors on Monday host their second annual James’s Warriors fundraiser at John Jay-East Fishkill High School, dedicating an evening to the charity that focuses on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The event will be held around a 4:30 p.m. game against North Salem.
The foundation was started in 2020 by Donna Thomas in honor of her son, James, who took his life a year after graduating from Ketcham. The 19-year-old quietly battled depression and exhibited only subtle signs of being unwell in the weeks before his death.
“Too many people are suffering in silence,” Rowan said. “We need to normalize people seeking mental health help and reaching out when it’s needed.”
Donna Thomas works alongside Dr. Jaimee Arnoff, a clinical psychologist, and speaks regularly at schools, discussing the importance of developing coping skills, detecting signs of depression in loved ones, and making them aware of resources and treatment options available.
Her family has close connections to this team and the community. Donna Thomas once worked alongside Rowan when she taught in the Wappingers Central School District and her daughter, Shannon, was a Ketcham athlete. The Ketcham baseball team also plans to host a fundraiser for James’s Warr;ors on May 6.
“There’s a much greater understanding of mental illness now and trying to get everyone comfortable talking about it is important,” Schuchat said last year. “James was someone from our community, not much older than us, so it can affect anyone. We wanted to step up for his family.”