Champion of the Month

Jay Yeakle Share

Feb 8, 2018  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Jay Yeak­le was born in Mar­i­on in 1960, and has since been a devot­ed res­i­dent. He attend­ed Mar­i­on High School, then start­ed work­ing ear­ly in life. He now over­sees 33 loca­tions of Save On Liquor in Indi­ana, and has been in this role over 33 years, learn­ing a lot about lead­er­ship and build­ing relationships.

Although a ground­ed busi­ness­man, Yeak­le is a pas­sion­ate vol­un­teer and cham­pi­on for the com­mu­ni­ty. He found­ed Help the Hope­ful” in 1993 after being inspired by and help­ing a small com­mu­ni­ty effort to fund heart surg­eries for a neigh­bor­hood child, and a simul­ta­ne­ous effort to save St. Paul Catholic School, both of which were suc­cess­ful fundraisers. 

He then ral­lied com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to help him ini­ti­ate an annu­al auc­tion to assist med­ical­ly chal­lenged chil­dren and their fam­i­lies. They are now in their 26th year, help­ing up to two dozen fam­i­lies each year with med­ical expens­es. Four events take place to raise funds each year: a golf scram­ble, a bowl­ing tour­na­ment, a bike ride, and a beer & wine tast­ing. To date, Help the Hope­ful” has raised near­ly $2.4 mil­lion for approx­i­mate­ly 220 chil­dren. Each year, the night before East­er Sun­day, 100% of the pro­ceeds are dis­trib­uted to the families. 

The most chal­leng­ing part is get­ting the word out that we exist. We want to see every child healed, but a lot of fam­i­lies don’t want to ask for help,” expressed Yeakle. 

Yeak­le said he’s proud of the giv­ing spir­it in this com­mu­ni­ty. We have a lot great peo­ple, and we take care of our peo­ple. Those from out of town are fas­ci­nat­ed at this, but help­ing oth­ers is very reward­ing and grat­i­fy­ing. I have been for­tu­nate, and this pro­gram is a way of giv­ing back.” 

Yeak­le encour­ages cham­pi­oning for your com­mu­ni­ty. Just see what is real­ly hap­pen­ing out here by vol­un­teer­ing. Find out where you can help, then see for your­self the fruit of your work. You don’t have to get paid. You get paid by the warmth in your heart you get from it.” 

Yeakle’s fam­i­ly also vol­un­teers for Help the Hope­ful.” Jay has 9 sib­lings, a wife, four chil­dren, eleven grand­chil­dren, and one great-grand­child with one more on the way. 

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