In 2004, the first Jimmy V CYO classic honored Linda Kucinski who lost her battle to lung cancer just a year before at the age of 46. Married for 25 years to Dennis Kucinski, she was the mother to Elizabeth, a CYO basketball player who played in the first tournament for Queen of the Universe. She was just 12 when her mother passed away and would go on to graduate from Conwell-Egan high school where she played field hockey.
That first year, one St. John’s team invited three other local CYO teams to play. Linda Kucinski’s husband’s letter was read at the end of the games telling everyone of the love he had for his wife and the loss their family felt after her passing. Parishioner Shane Rooney, also spoke at the event about his experience with cancer. With just a donation bucket and a raffle, the weekend pulled in $1,000 to send to the Jimmy V foundation for cancer research