On Friday, Nov. 25, for the third year in a row, local high school and collegiate rugby players will participate in the Josias A. Sterling Memorial “Apple Pie 7s” Rugby Tournament to honor the memory of Josias, who tragically lost his life when he was swept away by a riptide in July 2009. He played rugby for St. Joseph’s Prep High School and Temple University and was a well-respected member of the community.
Previously featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Rugby Magazine, the tournament will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Edgely Field in East Fairmount Park. Rugby teams will compete in quick, action-packed seven-on-seven 14-minute matches.
This event is the primary fundraiser for the Josias A. Sterling Aquatic Education Program which provides 100 at-risk youth with scholarship funding each year to attend six-week aquatic education sessions at the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in Philadelphia. Legendary swimming coach Jim Ellis, inspiration of the 2007 film “Pride,” will be attending this year’s event to represent the work that is being done at the Community Center in conjunction with the aquatic program.
“It is the wishes of Marie and Jean Sterling, along with our hope and intent, to transform a terrible tragedy into something extremely positive,” said Bill Gregory, one of Josias’ former coaches, friend of the Sterling family and event organizer. “We are making this possible through our commitment to provide swim lessons to children in need. The Josias A. Sterling Memorial Fund is providing $50,000 over the next five years to give 500 children and their families the opportunity to receive aquatic education with the ultimate goal of avoiding another drowning tragedy.”
For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=227035714012187. To learn more about the Josias A. Sterling Memorial Fund or to make a contribution, visit: http://josiassterling.org/.