ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not often that a 15-year-old skier grom raises money for a charitable cause. Nor is it common for a 15-year-old to host a charity event at a pubÃ¢â‚¬Â¦in Australia!
But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s exactly what Jodan Cook of Falls Creek, Australia, plans to do on June 9th, 2007 at a pub called The Man located near Falls Creek ski area.
Needless to say, CookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actions are rather atypical for the average teenager. The young Aussie decided to cut off his dreadlocks that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grown for three years and donate all the money he raises to Stand Strong Again (SSA), the foundation that assists action sports participantsÃ¢â‚¬â€ski, snowboard, skate, moto, professional, amateur and recreationalÃ¢â‚¬â€who suffer spinal cord injuries (SCI). Two prominent skiers, Lars Veen and Marc-Andre Belliveau, suffered SCI injuries within the last two years. SSA and friends have provided support for Lars and Marc in the treatment of, recovery from, and ultimate transition to life with, SCI.
After breaking his back and compressing the T-9 vertebrae in a Big Air comp three years ago, Cook wants to make people aware of SSA and the inherent risks involved in action sports. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The thought that a fellow skier has lost the ability to do what we all live to do, just trips me out heaps,Ã¢â‚¬? said Cook in an email. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Any chance that a cure could be found and helping the injured is so exciting. This is why I have decided to cut my dreadies along with the fact that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a helmet to fitÃ¢â‚¬â€safety first!Ã¢â‚¬?
The event will be held at 8pm in The Man in conjunction with the opening day of the ski season on QueenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day, Monday June 11th.
In addition, SSA recently received great news from the government: The IRS granted SSA with official 501(c)(3) non-profit status, which of course means that any donations to the foundation are now tax deductible!
So if you cannot make it to the Land of Oz for the party and opening day, get on standstrongagain.org and donate in order to support yourself and everyone else who participates in action sports. Do it honor of Jodan Cook. Actually, heed the call of Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight and Just Do ItÃ¢â‚¬â€period. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all unite behind a worthy cause and a 15-year-old changing the lives of others by changing his own. Good on yaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Jodan!