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| Nov 29, 2022

Philanthropy Starts Early for One Young Athlete

By Paul Ohanian | Photo courtesy of Rover Family

In many ways, AJ Rover is a typical nine-year-old. He likes riding his bike, hanging out with friends, and watching MythBusters or Wipeout on TV.

He has also been playing lacrosse for four years and competes as a member of Peachtree City Lacrosse in Georgia.

“I love being part of a team and making friends,” said AJ, who rotates between attack and midfield. “We have fun.”

AJ’s love for the game motivated him to do something unique for a kid his age – make a contribution to the USA Lacrosse Foundation in each of the past two years.

As an active Cub Scout, AJ’s Pack does an annual fundraiser each fall. The past two years, the Pack has been selling popcorn, with each scout able to earn rewards based on his selling success. As an accomplished salesman, AJ has earned gift cards as his commission.

“After his first commission award in 2020, he came to his mom and me asking if he could donate some of his reward for kids who may not be able to afford lacrosse,” said Rob Rover, AJ’s dad. “This past year, he asked again.”

AJ designated $75 from his commission as a donation to the USA Lacrosse Foundation, with his parents gladly matching his gift each time.

USA Lacrosse works every day to bring lacrosse to kids all over the country and relies on the support of generous donors to help make that possible. Every gift helps put a stick in the hands of a new player and enables him or her to discover the same joy of lacrosse that AJ enjoys.

“This donation is such an impressive gesture on AJ’s part because he truly wants to make a difference,” said Joshua Christian, gifts officer at USA Lacrosse. “His vision and selflessness demonstrate a maturity well beyond his age. His generosity is a great reminder that all of us have the same opportunity to positively impact the lives of others.”

“AJ has always been such a caring boy who wants to help others,” Rob Rover said. “He has a huge heart and loves other kids. It’s a great feeling for us as parents. We are very proud of him.”

For his part, AJ says he’s not done yet. There’s more popcorn to sell again next year.

“I love selling stuff, so I want to keep doing this,” AJ said. “I can keep helping other kids to play lacrosse.”

Giving Tuesday

This #GivingTuesday, our message is simple: GIVE THE GIFT OF LACROSSE!  

Your support will provide opportunities for thousands of children to experience the sport of lacrosse for the first time; it will offer coaches and officials access to resources that ensure safe and fair playing experiences; and it will create pathways for young men and women to pursue their dreams of gold!