Softball helps spread holiday cheer at Jay Fund Christmas Party

Dec. 12, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- - On Friday night, the Jacksonville softball team could have raced home like most students on campus after finals to start their holiday break. Instead, they chose to use their Friday night volunteering at the Jay Fund Christmas party in the Riverside Presbyterian Church.

The Jay Fund was started 10 years ago by former Jacksonville Jaguars and current New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin to help families whose children are battling cancer with financial aid.

"It was a special night for all the families," said Keli Coughlin, daughter of Tom Coughlin. "The families have to deal with so much trouble, but it was nice to see them forget all about that tonight."

The Dolphins assisted at the party that had an estimated 114 kids show up, with games and dinner for the families.

"The girls did an awesome job," Coughlin said. "The kids really took to the girls and it was the highlight of their night. It was fun to see the kids really enjoy themselves this evening."

"In general, I couldn't be more pleased with the way our team helped and enjoy themselves tonight," said JU head coach Melissa Gentile. "The kids really connected with the players. The party was just as good for the players as it was for the kids."

The players spent most of the night running the interactive games for the kids.

"This definitely was an experience we all enjoyed," said senior Kacey Yourous. "It makes you realize that every opportunity you have is a blessing."

After the holiday break, the Dolphins begin preparations for the 2006 season-opener at home against Texas Tech on Thursday, Feb. 9. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m