Youth's giving spirit lives on in sporting events

NATHAN HUNSIGER/DMN

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

- By JON NIELSEN / The Dallas Morning News

Chandler Jackson's biggest joy was to show others how much fun it could be to give selflessly.

The boy often offered what he had to make his friends happy, including his skateboard. Or he stopped to buy his teammates bubble gum on the way to one of his baseball games.

"Chandler had a very huge heart. He was a very giving, loving child. His goal in life was to make people's lives better and befriend them and help others," said his mother, Charmane.

The 12-year-old died last July when he fell on a broken golf club that had snapped during a round in Kentucky. The boy was visiting his father, Rick, and his family for the Fourth of July holiday and eager to compete for a national title in an upcoming weekend baseball tournament.

After he died, Mrs. Jackson wanted to ensure his giving spirit continued. She launched the Chandler Hugh Jackson Youth Foundation to give disadvantaged children a chance to experience Chandler's generous nature.

The foundation aims to raise money to send kids to camps or buy sports equipment for athletes or for any other activity where children benefit. "The boundaries are endless," Mrs. Jackson said.

It is her dream to have a ballpark named after her son. After all, sports – especially baseball – was his first love.

"My son's passion in life was baseball," his mother said. "At the age of 2, he was already throwing the ball up in the air and hitting it over the fence."
The foundation's biggest fundraising effort was Saturday at the Frisco RoughRiders baseball game, where Mrs. Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The foundation purchased tickets at a discount and sold all 310, making it the largest fundraiser to date. The group hosted a raffle and silent auction at the game.

On Oct. 22 at the Trails of Frisco Golf Club, the foundation will host the Chandler Hugh Jackson Memorial Tournament. A tourney last year helped launch the foundation.

"It is my lifelong commitment to carry on this foundation," Mrs. Jackson said. "My son was my hero, my best friend, and I want to give back what he gave to me and to other children."

E-mail jnielsen@dallasnews.com

For more information about the Chandler Hugh Jackson Youth Foundation, visit www.chandlersfoundation.org. To donate, visit the Web site or send donations to the Chandler Hugh Jackson Youth Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Bank, 5375 Lebannon Rd, Frisco, TX 75034.


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