CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN: Evan Ernst is Co-Founder, Executive Director of ‘Who We Play For’

By  //  October 26, 2019

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WWPF energetic force for change that has screened more than 100,000 young athletes

Evan Ernst is the co-founder and executive director of Who We Play For. In five years, the organization has blossomed into an energetic force for change that has screened more than 100,000 young athletes in a dozen states. WWPF’s efforts have resulted in the identification of more than 100 individuals who needed some level of medical intervention, including heart transplants, and hundreds of others with abnormalities now being monitored.

For information or to make a reservation to attend the 2019 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Nov. 30, 2007, was supposed to be just another soccer practice day for 15-year-old Cocoa Beach High student Rafe Maccarone, but it proved to be the end of his life.

The seemingly healthy young athlete suddenly collapsed and died the next day, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA.

In grief, his friends and family searched for a way to honor Rafe’s memory and save other families from a similar tragedy. Thus was born Who We Play For, the grassroots organization that channeled grief into a positive movement that has saved the lives of hundreds of young athletes around the country.

While SCA is the leading cause of death in sports and on school campuses, at the time of Rafe’s passing, the United States had no screening protocols in place to identify children at risk in the sports field.

Cardiac screening is easy, painless and non-invasive and can detect potentially catastrophic issues such as Rafe’s hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that had gone undetected during his sports physicals. Had he been screened, Rafe would be alive today.

Enter Who We Play For, established in 2014 by Rafe’s friends on the campus of Florida State.

Evan Ernst is the co-founder and executive director of Who We Play For. In five years, the organization has blossomed into an energetic force for change that has screened more than 100,000 young athletes in a dozen states.
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“Our goal was to show the country that it was imperative and possible to deliver affordable electrocardiogram screenings to every child, no matter their level of athletics, socio-economic status or geographic location,” said Evan Ernst, co-founder and executive director of Who We Play For.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but we couldn’t find an organization that was doing what we wanted to do, so we began enlisting the help of the medical community, starting with our own pediatricians.”

In five years, Who We Play For has blossomed into an energetic force for change that has screened more than 100,000 young athletes in a dozen states. WWPF’s efforts have resulted in the identification of more than 100 individuals who needed some level of medical intervention, including heart transplants, and hundreds of others with abnormalities now being monitored.

The organization’s advocacy led to a mandate requiring electrocardiograms for student-athletes in Brevard.

Through fundraising efforts, the $150 actual cost of these tests is reduced to $20, and families who cannot afford even that expense are subsidized through Who We Play For.

Rafe’s loved ones, including his father and sister and high school buddies such as Ernst, remain very active in Who We Play For. From his vantage point in heaven, Rafe must be very happy to see how much they have accomplished.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI

For more information or to make a reservation to attend the 2019 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

2018 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS SET NOV. 7

The 2019 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PROFILES IN SPACE COAST DAILY MAGAZINE

Recognizing Outstanding Individuals & Organizations Who Dedicate Their Time, Talent and Treasure

The 2019 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. 

The Central Florida Humanitarian honorees will be recognized during a Gala event on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.

The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created in 2009 by Space Coast Daily to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their time, talent or treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.

TIME: In this category consider candidates who have selflessly and consistently devoted their time as volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes, in activities for the less fortunate and as organizers, administrators or operatives in the many other altruistic endeavors in our community.

The 2019 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. All Humanitarian alumni are presented a specially commissioned medallion.

TALENT: In this category give consideration to those who have volunteered their special talents and expertise to address specific circumstances in which the lives of those in need are improved.

TREASURE: The humanitarians in this category will include those who have generously shared their monetary good fortune and/or volunteered their time and efforts in fundraising for the advancement of a philanthropic cause.

All 2019 honorees will be featured in the Oct/Nov 2019 edition of Space Coast Daily magazine and on SpaceCoastDaily.com.  The magazine will be available in both print and digital editions, which will also be available on SpaceCoastDaily.com soon.

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HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUAL HONOREES INCLUDE:

• Evan Ernst, ‘Who We Play For’
• Healthy Start Coalition
• Community Foundation of Brevard
• Col. Nathan Thomas
• Space Coast Area Transit
• Friends of Children of Brevard County
• Lanette Sanders
• Bryan Lober
• 321 Millennials
• Brevard Zoo
• K9 Junny, BCSO Ambassador
• National Veterans Homeless Support
• Brevard Relief for Bahamas
• Rock Paper Simple
• Brevard Hispanic Center
• Pilot Club of Titusville
• Brevard Rescue Mission
• Tom and Sue Walker
• Heroes on the Water
• Love Stitches
• Matt Susin
• Bruce Buggs
• Sandra Pelham
• Denise Farias
• Brevard Civilian/Military Foundation
• Tim Deratany, Lifetime Achievement honoree

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PROFILES IN SPACE COAST DAILY MAGAZINE

Each honoree or organization will be presented the Central Florida Humanitarian Crystal Globe. Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for exclusive and comprehensive multimedia coverage of each honoree as we present their compelling stories.

As always, the Central Florida Humanitarian committee will also honor hospital and hospice volunteers.

HOSPITAL VOLUNTEER HONOREES:

• Linda Shatzer, Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center
• Jama Sibley, Health First’s Palm Bay Hospital
• Janet MacKenzie, Melbourne Regional Medical Center
• April Marino, Health First’s Viera Hospital
• Catherine Shelton, Rockledge Regional Medical Center
• Susan Testa, Sebastian River Medical Center
• Pat Weber, Health First’s Cape Canaveral Hospital
• Dennis Jones, Parrish Medical Center

HOSPICE VOLUNTEER HONOREES:

• Haywood Davidson, Hospice Of St. Francis
• Val Johnson, Hospice Of Health First
• Kareen Williams, Wuesthoff Brevard Hospice
• Leslie Miller, Vitas Hospice

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PROFILES IN SPACE COAST DAILY MAGAZINE

JOIN US FOR AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING

This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by All Points, Erdman Automotive, Health First, Clear Choice Health Care, Florida Prep, Total Home Roofing, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Rock Paper Simple, Embrace Home Loans, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, Friday Night Locker Room, Safari Mail House and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

Each honoree or organization will be presented the Central Florida Humanitarian Crystal Globe. Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for exclusive and comprehensive multimedia coverage of each honoree as we present their compelling stories.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

For more information or to make a reservation to attend the 2019 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

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