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Fundraiser Basketball Game Held In Memory Of Jack Swamba ‘22

On Friday, December 29, 2023, a basketball fundraising game was held in memory of Jack Swamba ’22 at St. Edith Parish in Livonia. The game began at 6 PM between the St. Edith’s Eagles ’17 and Our Lady of Victory’s Cougars ’17 and featured many Catholic Central alumni from the class of 2021.  

The fundraising event was sponsored by Michael Ramirez ’21, Brady Butcher ‘21, and Casey’s of Walled Lake, raising a total of $1,200. All proceeds went to the Jack Swamba ROTC Memorial Scholarship at Michigan State University.  

The game was a tribute to Jack Swamba’s tremendous spirit and character during his 19 years of life. Admission to the event was made possible by donating to the Jack Swamba ROTC Memorial Scholarship in his honor. 

“It all started around September of 2023 when Brady reached out to me about scheduling a CYO alumni basketball game between the St Edith Eagles ‘17 and OLV Cougars ‘17. We began planning the event and reached out to St. Edith to see if we could use the athletic facilities. Mr. John Szewc, a long time St. Edith athletics coordinator and director, was gracious enough to allow us full access to the facilities on 12/29/23 at 6 P.M,” stated Ramirez.  

Mr. Szewc also had the pleasure of knowing Jack Swamba as his son, Nick Szewc, was the same age and they played football together at St. Edith. Butcher and Ramirez began to assemble the teams from the ‘17 alumni of St. Edith and OLV, which most of attended Catholic Central ‘21. Most of the players had played sports with or against Jack during youth CYO athletics and athletics at Catholic Central.  

“As we approached the game, Brady wanted to make the event special by bringing the communities and families together just like the old days. He scheduled a post-game hangout at Casey’s of Walled Lake for all spectators and players,” Mr. Ramirez stated.  

“Brady had another great idea to make the most of the opportunity; he wanted to make this game a fundraiser for a cause close to both communities. Without hesitation, we both thought of Jack Swamba’s ROTC Memorial Scholarship at Michigan State University,” he continued.  

Jack’s impact on the CYO and Catholic Central community was immense and very special in the hearts of all the participants involved in the fundraiser game. Mr. Steve Swamba helped set up a PayPal account to allocate the funds for Jack’s Memorial Scholarship.  

“Once the day arrived, the game was a blast from the past. It was a reminder of the brotherhood and lifelong bonds forged in the activities of CYO Athletics and our time at Catholic Central,” Ramirez stated.  

“This event would not have been possible without Mr. Casey Ambrose ’18, who sponsored the event and welcomed us into his restaurant, Mr. John Szewc, who welcomed us to use the St. Edith Athletic facilities, Dominic Apap ’24, who volunteered as the scoreboard worker and announcer, Josh Rothert ’24, who volunteered to take photos of the game, and our MHSAA/CYO referees.” 

The Swamba family also shared these thoughts, “We were deeply moved when Michael reached out to us about the tribute idea he and Brady came up with. Our hearts are full of gratitude to all those that made this happen and supported the cause, including those who generously donated. Thank you for sharing this story. Together your thoughtfulness and actions have lifted our spirits and reminds us of the honorable character of these men and the love we have for our Catholic Central family. “    

About Jack Swamba  

Growing up, Jack attended church and participated in athletics at St. Edith Catholic School and Parish in Livonia. He continued his student athlete journey at Detroit Catholic Central High School, where he was an Assistant Captain of the State Championship Hockey Team.  

Jack was immensely proud of his religion, always wearing his cross and grateful for how St. Edith and Catholic Central shaped him into a man of faith, brotherhood, and conviction.  

All his life, he had a tremendous passion and respect for the military. He was awarded a Michigan State University (MSU) ROTC scholarship following family legacies at MSU and the military. Jack was a U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at MSU starting September 2022, excelling as a student, role model and leader, earning the elite privilege of Pathfinder, Squad Leader, and Expert Marksman. He continued until the time of his death on October 11, 2023, when at just 19 years old riding his motorcycle, he was struck by a turning vehicle that did not see him.  

Jack died pursuing his dream of one day becoming a U.S. Army Officer, proudly honoring God, Country, and Freedom. He always pushed himself to be the best he could be, and inspired others to bring out their best. While he can no longer complete his journey, he would want others to have that opportunity. To honor his memory and this cause, the Jack Swamba ROTC Memorial Scholarship helps support future ROTC cadets fulfill their dreams. 

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