Noah really enjoyed the Whales experience! The Whales experience reminded all of us, players and parents alike, that it is not always about the sports we play or support, but rather the impact we can have on our fellow man while engaging in sports that we love! Winning in life is much more important than the score on the board at the end of the game, and that was reinforced each and every day of the Whales experience, from the day we registered until the final whistle. For Noah, the charitable aspect of the Whales really hit home. Playing for Sam and Fred Hutch was an opportunity and experience he will not soon forget. If I could only sign Noah up for one event a year, it would be with the Whales without a doubt! Finally, as a parent, I personally can’t thank Jimmy and Anne enough. They treated Noah, and each and every player, like family. There is not a classier act in youth lacrosse today. We will definitely be back next year!
— Randall Packard, father of Noah - Pod 3 - Coronado, CA
Wishing Whales Lax good luck at their tournament this weekend. Lax hard to fight cancer!
— Headwrapz 11/15/15
Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support you
have shown us by becoming a part of the Strong4Sam team! The energy and
excitement behind this movement, a movement to make a difference in the
lives of children suffering from cancer, is helping our family focus on
something positive and use this challenge as an opportunity to help others.

After the tournament she wrote ....
Sam had a BLAST!!! I can’t thank you enough for including him and for making
the weekend so much fun. He has spent so much time with me and at home the
last year that this was exactly what he needed!!! I admit it was hard to let
him go but I knew it was the best thing for him. He loves all the guys and
can’t wait to visit again soon. He also is super excited to start playing
lacrosse again and we are hopeful that he will be able to.
— Kellea Taylor, Sam's Mom - Sammamish, WA
Asst. Coach Cole Houck (left) shown with Sam Taylor and Head Coach Rick VandenBrink

Asst. Coach Cole Houck (left) shown with Sam Taylor and Head Coach Rick VandenBrink

I don’t even know where to start . . . the weekend was absolutely perfect! Cole’s first ever Whales tournament was an amazing experience in ever way. We realize that the time, energy, and money that went into planning the tournament was an investment in Cole. He went in understanding that he was entrusted with a goal of raising money and awareness for a cause way bigger than a single player. He came out of the experience with the gratification of attaining that goal, lessons of brotherhood, family, and teamwork, all of this happening off the field just as much as on the field. A special thanks for going out of your way to make Cole feel like part of the team. Next year, when you are in the older division, he can’t wait to play on the field!
— Leslie Houck, Cole's mom - Chula Vista, CA
Everyone - let’s rally and get as many people as we can to donate! My brother and I know Sam through sports in our area. He’s an amazing athlete! We would love to help Sam out in anyway we can. Lets start by raising as much money as possible for Project Violet.
— Mitch Flippo, Original Pod & Pod 3 - Bellevue, WA
Joining the Whales was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Not only was it fun, but it was for something bigger than us.  It was humbling to meet Sam, that guy is the real deal, an amazing person!  The best part of Whales might be the great friends I made.
— Zakhayas Lee, Pod 2 - Oregon City, OR
East Coast Dyes is very proud of Whales Lax for their generosity and support. They are a great example of what it takes to be an outstanding team on and off the field.
— Greg Kenneally
Going to Oregon to play with the original “pod” was great. I got to play with a really good group of guys who I hope to play with again in the future. It means so much to me to be a part of a team that raises money for cancer research. My father was diagnosed with cancer two years ago so it really means a lot to me to play for this team & to be raising money for a great cause.
— Nate Holguin, Original Pod & Pod 3 - Simi Valley, CA
This is truly amazing,  Words can’t describe the gratitude & how I feel about The Whales & Jimmy. It’s been amazing from the very 1st day when he asked Logan if he would come to Oregon to play on a team if he got enough players.  I just happened to be standing right there!   I thought ‘it probably won’t happen so don’t get to excited.’  I would have never, ever thought it would be all it has turned out to be from Jimmy’s humble idea of assembling one team. I can’t tell you how incredibly special it is for me personally from the get go & all the excitement & then the honor I felt when I heard Jimmy’s words on his TV Interview, telling the world he and the team were going to play for me. It is still as overwhelming today as it was.the 1st time I saw it, & still watch it to this day, two years later & it never gets old! I could never express in words how Whales has touched my heart & how proud I am of all you. To be a part of Whales is a true honor!
— Lori Beck, Stage-4 Survivor & Our Inspiration for Giving Back
Ripping goals worth over $400 each is an unbelievable feeling! We had hundreds of people donating for every goal we scored and it was amazing how fast the money piled up. The original Whales “Pod” raised over $10K in two days. Who knew that helping others could be so fun?!
— Chase Taylor, Original Pod - Temecula, CA
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There were many amazing moments that occurred over the weekend (OK, I am a big enough man to admit that I was tearing up when the team met Sam and his Family). However, there was one overwhelming phenomenon that was a wonderful delight to watch over the weekend. The kids experienced playing together as a team for a cause that was bigger than them. The amount of passion that the kids played with, For the Cause and For Sam, over the weekend was an experience that the kids will never forget and is a rare opportunity for them to be part of.
— Jason Glumbik, Father of Ty the Whale, Pod 2
Being a part of the Whales team last year was a great experience! Not only did I get to play with a group of guys I really respect, but we got to play together in a sport we love and give back to a very worthy charity while doing it.
— Justin Welling, Original Pod and Pod 3 - Newport Beach, CA
Ski has played with the Whales two years in a row. From Day 1, his experience has been incredible! From staying with the Ryans, meeting amazing Sam, playing with his buddies and most importantly playing for a greater cause. GO WHALES!”
— Shelley Fialkowski, Ski's mom (Original Pod & Pod 3) - Coronado, CA
The Whales Team is something special. I’m glad I could be part of the original pod. Sam will love having such a great group of people to support him.
— Dawson Loehner, Original Pod - West Linn, OR