Little Miami High School Blog

Bray's Sports Closet honors Thornbury

Posted on: January 5, 2016

A late Little Miami student’s giving spirit is living on through a special program designed to help those who are less fortunate in Warren County.

The Countryside YMCA in Lebanon has opened Bray’s Sports Closet, a sporting goods outreach program in memory of Brayden Thornbury, an outstanding LM student-athlete who passed away in September 2014 following a car crash. Brayden was an honor student, captain of the Panthers football team and part of the missions program at his church. Tracy Jacox, a friend of the Thornbury family, approached the YMCA to start the program to highlight Brayden’s commitment to helping others.

“This is something I thought we could do to honor him and that I think he would be proud of,” Jacox said. “There are other ‘closets’ like this for food and for clothing, but nothing similar for sporting equipment.”

Bray’s Sports Closet collects all types of gently used sports equipment and in turn, will donate the equipment to young athletes in need. The Closet is located in Lebanon in former medical offices across the street from the Y on Deerfield Road, and on a recent visit in December, shelves were beginning to fill up. Around the room were all sizes of baseball and soccer cleats, baseball gloves, golf bags filled with clubs, lacrosse sticks and other items.

Brayden’s mom Jeanne Thornbury has been involved with getting the program started and said she appreciated the hard work behind Jacox’s efforts.

“It was like his life revolved around [sports] and so many life lessons come out of sports,” Thornbury said. “He put his all into it and this is a way we can help other kids put their all into their sports, too. We want there to be no barrier.”

Jacox said that the Closet is not only seeking donations of equipment, but seeking volunteers as well to help clean, organize and inventory donations.

“We just need an hour of their time,” Jacox said. She said she hoped the closet would be well stocked and ready to open by late February, in time for baseball and other spring sports.

Donations may be dropped off at Little Miami High School, or at the YMCA in bins located at the north entry and the lower level.

To volunteer or to set up a donation drive, contact Tracy Jacox at tracy.jacox@ymcastaff.org or at (513) 850-5416.