The Patrick Mizwicki "Strive For 5" Foundation

On February 20, 1997, we welcomed Patrick James into this world. As the eighth addition to our family, we were all thrilled when this tiny blessing entered through our door. The next fourteen years provided us with memories that could never be forgotten or replaced.

Throughout his life, Patrick brought a smile and warmth to everyone around him. He spent his childhood devoting himself to family, friends, and sports. From baseball to football to soccer, he played them all to exhaustion. However, he found his true passion in playing baseball while sporting the number five on his jersey in honor of his favorite player Johnny Bench. It is during these years that we were so fortunate to see Patrick grow and prosper in every way possible.

As time ticked on, Patrick grew into his own person. He took pride in his love for the Chicago Cubs and received grief from his family full of Sox fans for it. We attended several Chicago White Sox games with Patrick by our side dressed in his Cubs jersey and baseball cap rooting for the opposing team. Our family remembers him most for his love and knowledge of sports and the enjoyment he brought to every game we watched with him. He would freely offer up every little detail or statistic without an ounce of doubt in his tone. He knew the sport and the athletes who played it, and it showed. Our family always joked that one day the world would see Patrick sitting behind one of those desks on ESPN.

It was bittersweet when we sent our youngest addition to his first day of high school. Patrick was a freshman at Lincoln-Way East and could not have been more eager to begin the next chapter of his life. He expressed his excitement in getting his license and braces off, but most of all joining his older brother on the Lincoln-Way East cross country team. As always Patrick devoted his time and energy to training all summer and with the start of school he joined the team in conditioning at Teason Woods.

It was on the tragic day of September 15, 2011 that changed our lives forever. Patrick was fatally struck by a vehicle while running with his team. Although all efforts were made to spare his life, we lost the most important part of our family. During the following months, we were shocked by the amount of support we had received from the community. All the individuals that Patrick had touched during his lifetime were now returning the favor. This kindness and generosity sparked the creation of this foundation to keep Patrick’s memory alive. Just as Patrick spent his life working to reach his goals and make a difference in the world, the foundation is committed to encourage children, teens, and young adults to “Strive For 5”: to be their best and to do their best.

Ray, JoAnne, and the Mizwicki Family