Below is a nice story amout UCLA alum wide receiver JoJo Townsell, who was recently honored as the Tahoe-Douglas Elks Citizen of the Year. JoJo was a teammate of current Bruin head coach Rick Neuheisel.
The Tahoe-Douglas Elks recognized community youth advocate and football star JoJo Townsell as their Citizen of the Year at a special banquet Jan. 29.
JoJo and his wife Suzi moved to Carson Valley in 1995 and formed the MEFIYI Foundation in 1997. MEFIYI stands for Me-For-Incredible-Youth, Inc. The mission of this organization is to support Nevada youth in areas of amateur athletics, recreation programs and physical fitness with the goal of building self esteem, emphasizing the importance of personal education and learning how to successfully utilize the sports team concept. Through the program, participants are given the opportunity to work with professional athletes, coaches, and instructors.
Since their inaugural year, the MEFIYI organization has touched the lives of more than 10,000 Northern Nevada youth. Townsell strongly believes that being able to play team sports keeps many students from dropping out of school.
Townsell was also instrumental in bringing a local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Carson Valley. While a strong program flourished in Carson City, most youth in Douglas County were unable to participate due to distance and transportation problems.
After Townsell formed an exploratory committee to ponder issues such as funding, facilities and staffing, the decision was made to put a program into place right here in the Ranchos. The local chapter has been a huge success and now has more than 300 enrolled youth, with daily participation in excess of 100. Operations are supervised by professional staff, and affiliated costs are supported through volunteer efforts and local contributions.
Townsell serves as the chapter's Chief Volunteer Officer. Without his influence, presence, time, and effort it is likely this local Boys & Girls Club program would not be in place today.
Townsell was born and raised in Reno and attended UCLA on a football scholarship. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Express (United States Football League) and the New York Jets (National Football League). A widely acclaimed wide receiver and ball return specialist, he was awarded the Jet's MVP award in 1989. He and his wife Suzi have two daughters who attend Douglas High School.
Congratulations to JoJo Townsell for being recognized as the Elks' Citizen of the Year for 2010. Many, many thanks for all you do to help make our community such a wonderful place to live.