Monday, June 20, 2011
OU softball team benefits from Miracles of Jenna Fund
The Miracles from Jenna Fund was established by David and Cathie Fital and Craig and Laurie Como to honor the relationship between the OU softball team and Jenna Kast. The fund will award scholarships to softball players who embody Jenna’s zest and fervor for life, and allow the spirit of Jenna to live on and be felt by future OU softball players for years to come.
The Oakland University softball team is well aware that the special relationships made during college last forever. Through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, the team adopted Jenna Kast, a local 11 year-old girl battling brain tumors. Though Jenna lost her courageous battle with cancer, the Miracles from Jenna Fund will allow her winning spirit and her special bond with the OU softball team to live on.
Upon meeting Jenna, the OU softball team recognized that her fervor for life was infectious. The personality of this little girl was that of a winner; something the team strived to be every time they step onto the field. The connection between Jenna and her team was instant, with Jenna attending home games in the dugout, and the softball team visiting Jenna at home and offering its unconditional support whenever necessary.
Family and friends who surrounded Jenna during her fight were touched by the team’s compassion for her. In reflecting on their close relationship, Craig Como, a family friend, says, “Jenna was so excited to be a part of this team. It was really great to see how special their relationship was. They were warriors for Jenna; they are wise beyond their years.”
The extraordinary bond between Jenna and the OU softball team made quite an impression on close family friends Craig and Laurie Como and David and Cathie Fital. They were so moved by the softball team’s involvement with the Kast family that they set up a fund in Jenna’s name that would benefit the team. The fund, appropriately named the Miracles from Jenna Fund, will support the OU softball program by providing general assistance and a partial scholarship to one of its team members each year.
“The girls have been an inspiration. They show incredible energy, courage and maturity,” says David Fital, who was instrumental in getting the fund established. “The scholarship recipient will be the person who best represents true courage and leadership, and the amazing qualities these young women showed the Kast family.”
This year’s scholarship recipient, Kylie Schalz, had a special relationship with Jenna, and is still close with her family. Schalz, who is studying mechanical engineering, truly personifies the spirit of the fund and who the fund will support in the future. “The fund allows Jenna’s spirit to live on through the OU softball team. It is not just a random scholarship. It will support the team that Jenna loved for years to come,” says Laurie Como.
From left to right: Laurie and Craig Como; Cathie and David Fital; Kylie Schalz, scholarship recipient; LaDonia Hughes, head softball coach; Rick and Paula Kast, Jenna’s parents.