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The JERK League: It Couldn’t Be Done Without… Advocates

November 16th, 2021

In 2007, James Redmond, Reggie Primeau, Ryan Potts and Craig Berry formed a once-a-week golf group simply because, well, they had nothing better to do. Taking each of their first initials, the “JRRC League” was officially founded. A year later, they added 12 more members and became the “JERKs” who, ironically, wanted to be kind and raise money for local charities.  

The inaugural JERK League Invitational was held in 2010 at Colonial Oaks and raised $500 which went towards a few different charities, but the members knew they could do even more. They also had an itch to partner with one organization in particular: Turnstone Center.

The late sister of original JERK James Redmond, Emily, was a client of the Allen County Society for Crippled Children and Adults back in 1984, before it was renamed to Turnstone Center. The league’s members are one big family; both biological and friends who became family.  As they remembered the impact Turnstone had on Emily’s life, it was a no-brainer that this was the right charity partnership for them to pursue.

Family and friends planted a tree outside of Turnstone in Emily’s honor and it never fails to remind James of his sister and the opportunities that were created for her because of Turnstone. And, throughout the 12-year relationship between The JERKs and Turnstone, they have seen the mission of Turnstone grow with its focus on empowering and creating possibilities for other people just like Emily.

In 2015, The JERK Invitational was designated as Turnstone’s official golf outing and James said, “We love that Turnstone has faith in us to organize their golf outing, while also allowing us to keep the JERK name on the event. Turnstone has such a great reputation and the whole JERK Community is proud to be part of the Turnstone Family.”

Today, The JERK League has raised over $100,000 for Turnstone’s mission, there is a waitlist of teams who want to participate in the annual invitational, and a golf outing between friends has produced people who have become valued Turnstone volunteers, adaptive sports coaches, and donors.

“A wish I have is that this relationship never ends. Turnstone holds a special place in the hearts of myself and all of the JERKs,” said James.

We couldn’t do it without groups like The JERK League who spread generosity by rallying together to empower the full and healthy lives of people with disabilities.

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