Rising Valley Christian-San Jose senior Moon Ashby is a nightmare on the football field for opposing offensive coordinators to deal with. He is rangy at 6-foot-5, supremely talented at outside linebacker with nearly a half-dozen offers to play FBS Division I college football and will be a three-year varsity starter after shining at Oak Grove as a sophomore. But he is intent on making arguably his biggest impact off the field, supporting those who need help the most.
Ashby is an active leader in a non-profit program which his dad runs, called the PARTI program, an acronym for the phrase Positive Alternative Recreation Teambuilding Impact. The non-profit operated out of San Jose works with schools in the area to mentor and help students who are struggling with a variety of issues in life. But Ashby also utilizes the program as a vehicle to help him with a personal project each year in July, raising money for the AIDS Walk in San Francisco.
“I did the AIDS walk for the first time four years ago, have done it every year since, and decided shortly after to start helping out on my own,” Ashby said. “You see everyone coming every year to support, and figure you can do more and get others to do more as well.”
On Saturday, July 13, Ashby and the PARTI program will host a Pancake Breakfast at the Applebee’s at 5630 Cottle Road in San Jose. The event runs from 8-10:30 am and all proceeds go to support the AIDS Walk and awareness in the community.
“I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and support just continues to grow. My teammates at Valley Christian and my former teammates at Oak Grove are all very helpful and supportive,” Ashby added. “We get a lot of local people coming out now to support the cause, whether that is helping make the food or just showing up to buy breakfast.”
Ashby also works with Kaiser on the program, and receives help from his dad, who assists with the logistics. It was his dad’s own health battles which helped convince Ashby to do more in the community, after his father was able to battle cancer into remission, though he still has the tumor. Ashby described his father’s efforts as “an inspiration to help with various causes and multiple groups.” He also describes his philanthropic work as part of an additional purpose in his life, part of his calling as a Christian.
The rising senior also describes the efforts of other youth who are associated with raising money for awareness and for the walk.
“The system recognizes who donates money, so we keep trying to raise more and more each year, and to keep setting the bar higher,” Ashby said. “There are a lot of people my age and even younger who are involved, so we like to push each other. The sky is the limit.”
Ashby should know a thing or two about setting the bar higher. As a sophomore at Oak Grove, he dominated play in the BVAL-Mt. Hamilton, notching 122 tackles, including 22 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks to go with 14 pass break-ups. He transferred to Valley Christian after that, and was a key member of the Warriors’ defense last year which propelled the team to a CCS Open Division II crown. He has college offers so far from schools such as Fresno State, Kansas State, Washington State, Utah State and San Jose State. And despite the work it takes to perform athletically at that level, he is eager to push himself into a worthy cause.
“It definitely becomes like an extra full-time job, but it is certainly worth it,” Ashby commented on his efforts to coordinate the fundraiser.
The AIDS Walk in San Francisco takes place in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, July 14. For anyone wishing to participate in the Pancake Breakfast the day before, they can purchase advance tickets at the Event Brite page.
Also, if anyone wants more information on the PARTI program, check out their website.