May 14th, 2013

St. Patrick athletes helping the community

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


St. Patrick athletes helping the community
Ryan Flynn (left in sweatshirt) and Logan Flynn (on right in a t-shirt) prepare to deliver collected sports equipment to Brooklawn / photo provided by Holly Flynn

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Kids often mimic their parent’s actions because that’s their role model and the people they look up to days in and day out. When their parents do extraordinary things, their children often do the same.

Jack and Holly Flynn are parishioners of St. Patrick. A few years ago, Jack’s company started providing pediatric care for third world countries. Jack and his co-workers flew down to poverty stricken countries such as Belize and performed surgeries on children that may have been less fortunate.   

His sons Ryan (7th grade) and Logan Flynn (8th grade) attend St. Patrick Elementary School.  The two boys asked their parents how they could help out. They started a toy drive called Celtic Care where they collected art supplies and toys for the 100 kids on whom Jack and his company would be performing surgery on. It was a success as the Flynn’s brought four duffel bags full of art supplies and toys to the kids in Belize.

“The kids came up with a name and logo,” Jack said. “Then we put this thing together last year and it turned out great. My kids went down with us to Belize and distributed the toys and hung out with the kids that were having surgery.”

This year’s fundraiser was a little bit different from last year; instead of helping the kids in need in Belize. Ryan and Logan saw kids in need here in their own hometown of Louisville.

“Over the summer, Ryan and Logan went over to Brooklawn,” the father said. “They helped cook and volunteered at Brooklawn. They were talking about it one day; they said for Celtic Care can we help out the kids at Brooklawn. It looks like there’s a need in the Louisville area. They noticed that their sports equipment wasn’t the best while they were there.”

And it brought a unique prospective to the Flynn’s kids. Most kids that go to a private parochial school don’t see what other kids might deal with on a regular basis. But one thing that can connect any kid is sports.

Both of the Flynn boys play lacrosse and run track and field. But their father said that they’ll do it all.

“When they were at the cookout, they were sitting there and talking,” he said. “At one point a ball came out and instantly there was a sense of community and a team. Everyone was working together and there were no more barriers and everybody was having a good time. The kids were now a family at that specific moment.”

While the motive of Celtic Care changed this year, the fund raiser went on. Instead of donating art supplies and toys, they decided to ask for sports equipment.

Logan and Ryan created posters and placed trashcans throughout the school where the students could put the donated toys in.

“We talked to the staff at Brooklawn and they said that would be a wonderful idea,” Jack said. “The boys changed it to a local drive. So they did their sports drive this past week. Friday was the last day of the drive and we will be delivering the sporting goods to Brooklawn Monday.”

Holly and Jack are very proud of their two sons. They’re already helping out their community at such a young age.

“You know it all comes back to the Catholic faith,” the father said. “They’re blessed to go to a school like St. Patrick and blessed to know what it’s like to be a Catholic and give back. But for them to grasp and take initiative to help people that are less fortunate makes me extremely proud of them.”

 

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