Many people often ask: What can one person do?
In the case of Cayman Jarvis, it’s a lot. Since 2006, he has raised more than $130,000 for the Cheer Guild at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, whose Toy Room provides toys for patients at the hospital.
The idea started with a visit to his friend Tyler Genneken, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Jarvis noticed a need for more toys at Riley when he visited Genneken at the hospital. So he decided to conduct a fundraiser.
He settled on a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. His mother made a list of what would need to be done, and the then-10-year-old went to work. He recruited players, solicited food donations and ordered T-shirts and trophies.
About 45 kids showed up at his first tournament in 2006. Entry fees and donations netted $1,500.
The first tourney was staged in the Jarvises’ driveway, but so many kids turned out the next year that the tournament spilled out onto the street.
The tourney became a tradition in Bargersville on the first Friday in June. That’s when the road in front of the Jarvis home is converted to a street party, punctuated by the sounds of music and basketballs.
In an interview in 2011, he credits his parents and grandparents for teaching him the value of helping others.
“Give and you’ll receive. They’ve taught me that ever since I can remember,” he said.
This year’s Cayman’s 3-on-3 for Riley Basketball Tournament will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at 96 E. Harriman Ave. in Bargersville. The tournament is open to boys in Grades 4-12. Cost is $5 to play plus a new wrapped toy.
There will be balloons, music, face painting, hamburgers, hot dogs and fun for families. A blood drive will be conducted on site from noon to 3:30 p.m.
This will be the last year Jarvis will host the event. But the spirit of giving represented by his efforts will continue.
We salute Jarvis and his tournament. He has shown how much can be accomplished when you really care about something important. It’s a lesson most grown-ups can learn from.