Jodi Helms Benefit w/Proceeds going to the Wes Leonard Heart Team

Jodi Helms was a dear friend of The “Oh Brother” Band, new love of Charlie Fouty, band member, and sister in-law the Mark Bergman, also a band member. Jodi passed away in her sleep last June 22nd at the age of 47. Last years Benefit was a great success raising over $6000 for her funeral expenses and helping out her two college age daughters.For 2011 we wanted to have another benefit to honor Jodi’s memory.

The Wes Leonard Heart Team was selected to receive all proceeds from this benefit as it is local (West Michigan Based) and we agree with all the great things the Wes Leonard Heart Team is doing. If we can help save the life of just one young athlete, it would make it all worth while.  Benefit will be held on August 20th, 2011 at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club in Pierson, MI. Four person golf scramble starting at 1PM (sign up at 12:30PM), bands will begin playing at 3PM or right after the Golf scramble.

Please come and make this benefit a great success.

Thank You, from the Wes Leonard Heart Team and The “Oh Brother” Band

Here is a link for the Facebook event!

Band line up for the 2nd Jodi Helms Benefit
Holden County……………………………………3PM till 4:30
The “Oh Brother” Band………………………… 5PM till 5:45
Steal Grey Band…………………………………. 6PM till 6:45
Stu Carpenter W/ The “Oh Brother” Band…. 7PM till 7:45
The Triangle Effect………………………………8PM till 8:45
The “Oh Brother” Band……………………..…..9PM till ?

Hope College to Offer Free SCA Symposium to Athletic and School Administrations

School administrators and athletic staff are invited to a free symposium about sudden cardiac arrest on Tuesday at Hope College.

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. at Graves Hall, 263 College Ave., with a two-hour program following at 7 p.m.

The event is free. Any organization that attends will receive a free automated external defibrillator.

Spectrum Health Cardiovascular Services and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital are sponsoring the presentation.

Participants are asked to pre-register. Call Spectrum Health at (616) 267-2626, ext. 4.

For more information call or read the article!

Benefit Concert & Auction Fundraiser at East Saugatuck Church

On Saturday August 6th from 5-10pm the East Saugatuck Church will be putting on a series of events, all with the intention of raising money for the Wes Leonard Heart Team. The events will include: Music by Nimrots, Lomax Big House, Black Ice and the ES Point Band; an auction (auction items available July 30 at; AED demos demonstrating how the life saving devices work; and a pig roast starting at 5:00pm. This is a free event with all donations being given to the Wes Leonard Heart Team for more information call 616-218-0032. Here is a link to the flyer with directions!

Thank You to the Detroit Tigers

We would like to thank the Detroit Tigers for donating 100 tickets for their game on the 28th vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This afternoon game will be a day to remember Wesley and promote the ongoing missions of the Wes Leonard Heart Team as well as Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness. Thank you for all that you have done Detroit Tigers!

Espy Awards on July 13th – Voting Open now

Vote for the ESPN Espy Fennville HS Basketball Team Moment! Voting ends on July 9th.

Kvapil Racing for Fallen Basketball Star at Michigan

Press Release from Front Row Motor Sports:

Statesville, N.C. (June 14, 2001) – Travis Kvapil’s No. 38 Ford will go to Michigan International Speedway this week with a special tribute to the memory of Wes Leonard – the Fennville (Mich.) High School basketball player who died of a heart ailment just after scoring a game-winning basket.

The No. 38 Ford, which will be sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), will carry the logo of the Wes Leonard Heart Team on its rear quarter panels.  The foundation was set up in the superstar’s memory to honor children who have lost their lives to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and to prevent similar tragedies from occurring.  Leonard’s parents, brother and grandparents and members of the foundation will be special guests of the No. 38 team at Sunday’s Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400.

The FCA, the largest Christian sports organization in America, joins Front Row in paying tribute to the Fennville star and the foundation formed in his memory.  The campus ministry feels Leonard exemplified the FCA’s four values: integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.

“FCA appreciates the opportunity to partner with Travis Kvapil and Front Row Motorsports in honoring the life and family of Wes Leonard,” said FCA representative Scott Galyon. “Wes’ life reminds us that each day is a gift and each moment should be treasured. May we all seek to live our life to the fullest and for God’s glory.”

The family and foundation hope the public attention will raise more awareness for their cause, so no parent will have to go through what they endured.

“No parent should have to watch their child die – ever,” said Jocelyn Leonard, Wes’ mother.  “You cannot look at someone and say how young they are, or they are so fit.  You have to look at the distress signs you are seeing and react accordingly.  All gyms and schools should have working AEDs and staff that have an emergency response plan to put that life-saving equipment into use.”

Learn more about the Wes Leonard Heart Team at

Comments from FCA driver Travis Kvapil on racing at Michigan for the Wes Leonard Heart Team:

“It’s definitely a story that touches a lot of people’s hearts. For us, Front Row Motorsports and Bob Jenkins (owner), along with the FCA, we just want to raise awareness that kids have potentially fatal heart conditions.  And for his family and his organization, we just want to raise some awareness for him and help support their cause. Like I said, it’s a very touching story so we just want to go out and do a good job and support Wes’s family and his foundation.

“I have kids and, in fact, I have a teenage daughter who’s just a little younger than Wes was when he died.  As a parent, you see your kids running around, looking as healthy as can be, you don’t think that something might be wrong.  And that was the case with Wes and his family.  Helping the Wes Leonard Heart Team will bring awareness to the need for better screening to find those red flags that a lot of times parents and coaches, and even doctors, might not normally see.

“This is a place where we can definitely have a good run for them.  Michigan is a track I really enjoy going to. I had some success, won a couple of truck races there and had some decent runs in the cup cars. It’s also neat because it’s Ford’s backyard so we definitely want to have a good run for them, too, and show them that our team is improving. It’s definitely a place, similar to a mile-and-a-half track, where you have to have a good handling racecar through the corner but it definitely takes some good horsepower down the straight-aways there.

“We feel like our handling package is getting better. We’re definitely making improvement and we know we have great horsepower under the hood with Roush-Yates Engines.  They’re phenomenal. I’m excited to go there, it’s a fun track to race, another track where you can spread out and move around, run three or four different lanes pretty easily. If you have a fast racecar you can find your way to the front.”
About Front Row Motorsports:
Front Row Motorsports is a Statesville, N.C.-based race team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Formed in 2005 by restaurant entrepreneur Bob Jenkins, the team has competed in NASCAR racing in each year since its inception, expanding full-time to the premier Sprint Cup Series in 2009.  The team partners with Ford Racing and Roush-Yates Racing Engines to field the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford driven by David Gilliland and the No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford driven by Travis Kvapil.

About the Fellowship of Christian Athletes:
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is touching millions of lives… one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest Christian sports organization in America. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.

Thank you to Buffalo Wild Wings

The Wes Leonard heart Team would like to thank all of the employees at Buffalo Wild Wings in Holland for the wonderfully successful fundraiser that they hosted Sunday June, 12th.  Buffalo Wild Wings donated 20% of the proceeds on the entire day to the foundation.   With donations like this, and the goals and direction of the Heart Team, we are most certainly going to save lives.



ESPN Outside The Lines

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch the ESPN Outside The Lines special about Wes and his story.  In case you missed it, here is the link:

Thank you to the Detroit Pistons!

On March 26th, 2011 the Detroit Pistons Organization invited the Fennville basketball team to a home game against the visiting Indiana Pacers.  The team, coaches and Leonard family were given the red carpet treatment.  Everyone was given a chance to buy anything in the Pistons team store at 50% off.  Then everyone was able to go sit courtside where the Pistons and Pacers were going through warm-ups.  The Blackhawks were then able to do a little shoot around of their own.  The players and coaches were then taken into the locker room for pictures and autographs.  Then the Piston organization had 2 suites set up for everyone, stocked with food and drinks.  The Piston announcer made mention of the Blackhawks being guests that night while the crowd gave a wonderful ovation.  Late in the second half everyone was greeted by surprise guests, ex-bad boy Pistons, John Sally and James “Buddah” Edwards.  They both signed autographs and posed for pictures.  The Piston organization, players, coaches and staff are a true, first class organization and will always be remembered by the Fennville players and Leonard family in that way.

ESPN Outside The Lines – Airing 5/15 at 9am EST

Please be sure to tune into ESPN’s Outside The Lines for a special episode about Wes and his story.  It will air on May 15th at 9:00am EST.

“On March 3, 16-year old Wes Leonard made a game-winning layup in overtime to cap an undefeated regular season for the Fennville High School basketball team. Minutes later, Leonard collapsed and died from sudden cardiac arrest. ESPN presents an exclusive look at how 12 days of grief and sorrow off the court turned into strength and motivation on it, as Fennville made an improbable run through the Michigan state playoffs in Leonard’s honor.”

Watch the preview here: