Knight in Shining Armor- Jack Rickard


This past month, Jack Rickard organized a “red out” lacrosse game in order to fundraise for the Wes Leonard Heart Team and spread heart disease awareness amongst the community.

The red out game was held April 11 for the Wes Leonard Heart Team, a heart foundation created three years ago, in honor of Wes Leonard, a high school student who died due to an enlarged heart.

“He had no previous family history or medical history of heart conditions. Wes was such a great kid and lived such a healthy lifestyle that it surprised so many people when he actually had a heart attack,” Rickard said.

Jack has been the first of his foundation to spread “red out” games to Illinois, and the event was very successful. Not only did it raise $300, but it also raised awareness.

“The red out game was perfect with a huge crowd. Also, we had super huge support from the lacrosse team, not only the student body’s support, we also had the team’s, which was awesome. We’ve been trying to raise awareness for anyone who has heart conditions and are trying to host multiple red out games and teaching people AED and CPR certification,” Rickard said.

The Wes Leonard Heart Team is also pushing for all schools to own AEDs, Automated External Defibrillator, that can revive or help a suffering heart immediately. Although Grayslake North already owns these, schools that don’t are in immediate need of them.

“One of our goals is trying to make it a federal law to get AEDs in schools. Some schools don’t have that privilege, and it’s our mission to try to give that ability to everyone, so if something happens, like with my friend, [they can get help],” Rickard said.

The Wes Leonard Heart Team is looking forward to what Jack Rickard and the community can do to help their organization and schools in need.