“We want to make sure that the students that receive the scholarships are somebody that uphold his values, that believe in the industry, [that they] aren’t looking to go into the industry because [they want to] make a lot of money,” Jim Accardi said. “It’s really about making an impact in the work they want to do.” One year later, Accardi would have been 21 years old. Justin Accardi’s parents founded The Justin Accardi Foundation for the Arts in honor of their son’s life and his creative passions. (Photo courtesy of the Accardi family) “Justin was a unique person and no one will ever be quite like him, but there are so many other people out there who are just as passionate and just as ready to pursue their creative ideas,” Saulnier said. “We should be able to create without limits and without restriction and without fear because I think there’s something really beautiful in just being able to go for what you believe in. I know that he would have loved to see whatever comes of it and whoever gets to benefit from it.” “I still remember that [day] and feel happy, but it’s just so sad that this year’s different,” said Saulnier, a junior majoring in creative writing and French. “We were in the same Intro to Cinema class and after every movie we watched, it would take me a few minutes to still decide whether I even liked the movie or not, but he had a full-blown analysis already ready of the movie and all of its pros and cons, and what he thinks about that,” Chawla said. “So it used to be really fun to talk to him about anything creative.” Accardi passed away Sept. 5. He had battled depression for many years and died by suicide. Chawla, a junior majoring in cognitive science, was the initial founder of the sketch comedy group that led her to connect with Justin. She had reached out to people over Facebook to encourage them to join and gather ideas for the group. Accardi was one of the first people to respond. On Justin Accardi’s birthday last year, his two best friends Prerika Chawla and Marcelle Saulnier took him out to brunch in downtown Los Angeles. They spent the day exploring the city and wandering through the dim maze of books in The Last Bookstore. The three friends had bonded over a sketch comedy group their freshman year, so celebrating the day surrounded by words, history and art couldn’t have been more perfect. Though the foundation is new, Accardi’s parents hope to give at least one scholarship to a student at their son’s high school, Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, NJ, where he cultivated his passion for performing arts. Ultimately, however, they hope the money will go toward students at USC and from the surrounding community. UnderSCore a Capella, a student organization that Justin was a part of, began a fundraiser in November. It started as a GoFundMe for the recording of a tribute song titled “Say Love” but flourished into a larger fundraiser to support the foundation. “He had such a passion for music and cinema and media and was also just naturally brilliant, just naturally intelligent,” said Selena Accardi, Justin’s mother. “[He] cared about the world and politics and nature and the environment and just everything. When you have a child like that from an early age, it makes you pay attention to things bigger than yourself.” “He just messaged me with a whole list of ideas that we could do for our sketches, and through that, since we’d be meeting every week and just trying to make new videos and content, we’d … write a lot of jokes all the time,” Chawla said. “We just became super close from that.” In honor of their son, Selena and Jim Accardi have launched a foundation that will provide grants and scholarships for students studying cinematic arts. Accardi’s parents officially announced the foundation’s launch Monday, what would have been his 21st birthday. The Justin Accardi Foundation for the Arts will provide funding for student projects and films “that capture Justin’s visionary spirit and reflect his positive impact through the arts,” the website read. From that point on, Chawla and Accardi’s friendship grew out of their shared love for acting and comedy. Creativity was something that enthralled both of them, and they spent hours together bringing their ideas to life through sketches and videos. Their favorite activities included watching films or old episodes of “Seinfeld” and having long, in-depth talks about what they thought.
One of Ireland’s Olympic heroes, Annalise Murphy, is back on home soil.The silver medallist sailor walked out to cheers after her flight landed at Dublin airport this morning. Annalise says the reality of bringing home an Olympic medal hasn’t sunk in just yet. Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Russia’s appeal to compete at the Paralympics.The decision upholds the original suspension imposed by the International Paralympic Committee and prevents any Russian athlete from going to the games next month.The Court of Arbitration for Sport says the ruling is proportionate and within the rules. read more
All golf clubs in England have been invited to take part in vital research to help shape future investment in the game. England Golf’s 2012 Golf Club Membership Questionnaire will monitor membership trends and highlight the effectiveness of current development initiatives and resources. Copies of the questionnaire have been sent to all clubs but it can also be completed online at www.gcmq2012.org. All clubs who make an online return by 11th May 2012 will be entered into a draw to win one of three Apple iPads. Meanwhile, all clubs which return a completed questionnaire will be entered into a draw to win a fourball on the Hotchkin Course at The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa. Since the first survey was distributed in 2002 the research has helped England Golf to identify significant changes and challenges facing clubs and to direct finances and resources. The research findings have been used in a number of ways including: • Providing golf clubs with statistics to compare and benchmark themselves, to better assess their business health and progress. • The development of flexible membership packages and best practice examples for golf clubs. • The production of the Recruitment & Retention Toolkit for golf clubs. • Production of county and regional information to identify and support development of the sport at a local level through County Golf Partnerships. • Specific support for women’s and girls’ golf. • The production of the Junior Organisers’ Handbook to support and improve junior structures within golf clubs. • Provision of data to Sport England to gain funding for the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’. Richard Flint, Development Manager for England Golf commented “Despite the pressures of the economic climate, golf in England has reacted to the challenges and changing golfing environment. “This biennial research is a critical part of meeting these and future challenges and will enable us, along with our County Golf Partnerships, to establish recruitment activities and transform facilities and offerings within clubs to meet the demand of existing and potential golfers.” Once all data has been collated a national results booklet will be produced in the autumn along with individual county breakdowns. Previous results booklets can be downloaded at www.englishgolfunion.org. 13 Mar 2012 England Golf monitors membership trends read more
Golf was on offer for the first time when over 220 athletes and support staff gathered for the 27th Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. The flagship sports event enabled newly injured patients from the 13 spinal units from across the UK and Ireland to discover and compete in a range of wheelchair sports. Jamie Blair, Disability Officer for England Golf, said “We are pleased to have added golf to the range of activities on offer as part of the spinal unit games, ensuring the game is open to all. “I would like to express my thanks to the Handigolf Foundation and volunteers for running the activity and showcasing the opportunities to participate in golf”. Stoke Mandeville Hospital patient, 61-year-old Paul Beere from Hemel Hempstead, took part in golf as well as various sports including fencing, hand-cycling, and nine ball pool. Paul says sport has played a part in his rehabilitation after a growth on his spinal cord was removed and he was confined to a wheelchair. He said: “Sport brings you not only exercise, but a sense of purpose and a feeling that everything has an ending”. The games are run by WheelPower, a national sport charity based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. WheelPower’s Sport Development Officer, Stewart Jeeves, who organised the event said: “Throughout the week all participants have fully embraced their opportunity to have a go at sport” “Patients with spinal cord injuries have discovered first-hand what they can achieve in terms of participating in sport and living an independent lifestyle. Many will return home full of confidence and desire to continue playing the sport they love in their local area.’ Image © Roger Bool 15 May 2014 Golf makes debut at Spinal Games read more