Young starts foundation, tournament after accident

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Former Florida Gators basketball player and Jacksonville native Patric Young always knew that he wanted to use his platform as an athlete to make an impact on people’s lives.

“I did a lot of things back at UF while I was a student-athlete with hospital visits or mentoring, and I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Young said.

However, he was not sure what direction to take it or what that impact would entail.

That all changed after he was involved in a one-car accident in June that injured his vertebrate and left his lower body paralyzed.

At first the result of his injuries was hard to grasp as he began to face his new reality. But as he pondered his situation, he also decided the time was right to begin the Patric Young Foundation to help anyone encountering similar hardships in their life.

“The initial phase of it was obviously the hardest, because you have all these plans for things in life,” Young said. “It was on my heart to do something like this, and this (his accident) was a catalyst for me,” Young said. “I think my situation can relate to a lot of able-bodied people as well.

The foundation’s motto is “Illuminating the path to wholeness,” and it will hold its inaugural charity golf tournament at The Yards in Ponte Vedra Beach Dec. 12. With tournament registration at 9 a.m. and a shotgun start scheduled for 10 a.m.

Lunch will be included along with an awards event and reception following the tournament, as well as a silent auction.

All the funds raised will go toward helping local people dealing with any type of traumatic or life-changing injury by providing financial support to get access to the proper adaptive equipment and therapy, as well the emotional support and education that goes along with the physical nature of the recovery process.

“We’re not only going to be geared toward people with spinal cord injuries,” Young said. “There could be a kid out there that lost a limb and is in need of a prosthetic. We’re all about helping people feel whole again by filling in those financial gaps.”

Those gaps can include helping in the purchase of a new wheelchair or finding the right treatment to help those dealing with the injuries and their loved ones who are there with them every step of the way.

“It’s all about realizing that you still have control over your life,” Young said. “I could not imagine going through this without my parents, wife and child by my side.”

According to Young, the tournament came together within the past six weeks thanks to fellow former Gators basketball player Dan Cross, who he reached out to hep get things started in the event’s first year.

Despite everything coming together in a short period of time, word spread quick, and Young has experienced a bevy of excitement for the tournament from the community, including all the playing slots being sold out.

However, tickets donations can still be made, and tickets are available for the lunch and the rest of the event’s festivities by going to py4foundation.org.

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