May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

CdM athlete organizes 5K fund-raiser to help families affected by coronavirus crisis

Kevin Joynt of CdM completes a 5K as part of a fund-raiser. (Photo courtesy CdM athletics)

Corona del Mar High School tennis player Kevin Joynt wants to help raise money to feed those who have had families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic throughout the country.

Joynt, who will be a junior in the fall, is asking people to participate in the Run For Heroes program, which is donating money to the Feeding America charity. The program has a GoFundMe page where people can donate.

“Anybody can do it, you run, walk or cycle a 5K, donate $5 and then nominate five of your friends on social media,” Joynt said. “Most of the people are doing it on either Instagram or Facebook.”

Joynt said he got the idea from his cousin in London, Olivia Strong.

“Her goal was $5,000 and she crushed that goal in four days,” Joynt said Tuesday in a phone interview. “She reached out to my family and asked us to do it here. We’re trying to do our best here. Seeing the news and how the employment percentages went down dramatically, I really want to help those people.”

The fund-raiser operates on an honor system with the hope participants will complete the 5K distance, then make a donation. But Joynt has tried to inspire students by participating with those who want to run, walk or cyle the 5K.

“How I’ve tried to start it here is to motivate the people who aren’t doing it, I ask them, ‘are you willing to do it if I do it with you as well?’ That’s got a lot of people encouraged to do it. I’ve done it four or five times,” he said.

It’s also a way for people, including CdM athletes, to stay in shape during a time when organized workouts are not allowed.

“If I’m doing it with other people and for a good cause, I will do it any day,” Joynt said.

Joynt has the full support of Kevin McCaffrey, the school’s varsity baseball coach who is also in charge of the Kings Krew Athletic Leadership class. Joynt is a member of the class.

“I took the challenge and posted to our CDM_Kings_Krew Instagram page where I challenged all the CDM students,” McCaffrey said. “I love seeing kids take leadership roles. It is what we talk about in our Kings Krew class and it is so neat to see how passionate he is about this. I really think this is going to take off in our CdM community over the next week and hopefully it will spread to other schools as well.”

Joynt said he was thrilled to have McCaffrey’s support.

“He’s a great guy and has really started this with me,” Joynt said. “He was the first person I reached out to.”

The Spirit Class has been a way to connect with other students about the fund-raiser.

“It’s a spirit class to basically try to bump up the spirit for sporting events and so far, I’ve got all the sophomores in the class to do it already and now I’m working on the seniors and juniors and then once I get them, the freshmen will most likely be on board with it as well because all the main influencers have done it,” Joynt said.

“My goal is $5,000, we’re one fifth of the way through that with $1,000, but anything we can raise is amazing. Some people love it, some people are a little lazy and you got to push them and you tell them what it is about and where the money goes, most people are all for it.”

Joynt said all the money raised goes to Feeding America, which designates families across the country to get the funds.

Joynt, like other athletes in Orange County, saw his season end early when spring sports were cancelled. He had been playing for CdM’s junior varsity tennis team.

“I was so bummed, I was really starting to hit the point where I was hitting the next level and then once the season gets cancelled, all the competitive part of me kind of gets destroyed and I want to be able to get back out there,” he said.

“It’s tough not seeing the competitive side come out of me. Everybody is bummed about it.”

Joynt is still trying to stay in top physical condition in preparation for next season.

“I have a wall near me where I can hit (tennis balls) against the wall,” he said. “It’s a nice place to hit just for myself and if I’m not running, walking or cycling a 5K, it’s a good place for me to get my workout in.”

“It’s crazy, things are starting to open up, I was watching the news and they’re starting to make some new rules,” he said. “I’m currently quarantined, we don’t love it, but it’s for my safety but I’m trying my best when I go for those workouts with my friends, I keep my six feet and I’m hoping to stay safe and I hope everybody stays safe as well.”

Joynt remains optimistic about the future.

“Eventually, I’m hoping to win it all, that’s a big hope, but the first step is making varsity, I was number one on JV this year, I was definitely bummed to make JV and I wanted to make varsity, but I think it was for the better and I had a ton of playing time, but hopefully varsity and then senior year, maybe win it all.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com