When the Going Gets Tough...

The YMCA of Hagerstown hosted their 34th annual True Grit Awards here at Fountain Head Country Club on May 12th .The awards honored young athletes from across the county who have overcome hardships during their athletic careers and have really show their “true grit” in doing so! We were honored to welcome 14 local athletes from across the county, one senior from each high school, and an athlete at Hagerstown Community College. Thanks to many sponsors such as the Hagerstown YMCA, The Herald Mail, Washington County Public Schools, the Cumberland Valley Athletics Club, and Jerry Spessard, the event also welcomed keynote speaker Kevin Jaye, who overcame his own extreme hardships and continues to demonstrate his own true grit! Jaye, a Smithsburg native and Army veteran, lost his right leg while serving in Afghanistan when he stepped on a land mine. He has endured nearly 30 surgeries since retiring from the Army and continues to share his message of staying positive even when times get tough! Attendees enjoyed hearing his story and inspiring words throughout the evening. Among the attendees were athletes who have overcome such hardships as, optical disorders, ligament injuries to their knees, vertebrae injuries, heart conditions, and blood clots. The bravery and commitment shown by these athletes at such a young age is astounding and can be an inspiration to us all!