What They Are Saying

“John Trautwein and his family have taken the most difficult tragedy a family can know, and turned it into a message to help us all. Our kids are at risk and we need to make sure they always have a will to live, and the Will To Live Foundation’s Life Teammates message is helping to make this happen.”

– Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

Click on links below to hear what others are saying about the Life Teammates message to kids! Loving your teammates on and off the field!

Life Teammates & The Will To Live Foundation
What They’re Saying About Our Message!

“The Will To Live Foundation, that’s what Life Teammates are all about, giving people hope for life.”

– Joe Girardi, NY Yankees Mgr.

(click to expand more testimonials)

Blake Kole - Jr. at NVHS

“Willstock is one of those events that make you truly happy to be alive, which Is what the foundation is all about. Being up there on stage and being part of that atmosphere was absolutely amazing. There’s truly no other feeling like it.”

– Blake Kole

Ryan McDaniel - Jr. at NVHS

“It was one of those times where everybody could come together by wills spirit as well as the spirit of music. No matter what cliques or groups they were in, they were unified for one great night of joy.”

– Ryan McDaniel

Tommy Trautwein - Freshman at NVHS

“It was just a night with no worries, no pain, and no stress. A night where everyone could be together in peace, and just enjoy themselves while spreading the message of love and hope. It’s hard to explain how amazing Willstock was, but it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. I know Will was happy about this one.”

– Tommy Trautwein

Will Jackson - Former Athletic Director

“The message of John Trautwein and his Will to Live Foundation is powerful and pertinent to anyone who is involved in the lives of young people. Teachers, coaches, parents and friends of teens are often unaware of the serious issues going on behind the social curtains of the young people they care about. John’s mission and the work of his foundation will leave a permanent appreciation for the importance of openly caring and expressing that love, as well as building a supportive culture that embraces and strengthens young men and women.”

– Will Jackson – Former Athletic Director, Football & Baseball Coach at Dunwoody High and Wesleyan School in GA for over 40 years.

Lou Corsetti, Coaching Coordinator, Atlanta Youth Lacrosse

“I have had the pleasure of seeing John speak on three occasions. WOW what a message!

As a coach and financial services professional for over 30 plus years I have seen hundreds of prominent CEO’s, Keynote Speakers and College and Professional Coaches speak. John is hands down one of my top three speakers I have had the pleasure to witness. His thoughtful and moving presentation is incredible and he hits all the positive notes you want to aspire to as a coach and mentor of young people.

Go and see him as soon as you can!”

– Lou Corsetti
Coaching Coordinator, Atlanta Youth Lacrosse
US Lacrosse Convention Committee Chair 2011, 12
Georgia Lacrosse Hall of Fame Member

Scott Hall from Secretary Gwinnett Lacrosse Program

“Will Trautwein’s legacy will always be honored by the Will to Live Foundations great work with Metro Atlanta children, coaches and community leaders. For those who don’t know John spoke to 260 Gwinnett Lacrosse League coaches this year. The impact he had on our coaches and league as a whole was tremendous. We highly encourage any organization from sports or scouts even robotics to have John speak to the realities of childhood depression and the many ways we all can surround our local community children and families with the love God intended us to share with one another. Thank you to the Trautwein family for this amazing mission!”

– Scott Hall – Secretary Gwinnett Lacrosse Program, GA

Mike Cuzzone from USSSA baseball

“Talking to the players and coaches truly brought awareness to the concept of “Life Teammates.” It was clear that many of the players unfortunately had to live through similar situations in the past. With John and his family sharing their story and ideas, the players walked away with a better understanding of how important it is to be there for each other. Although the USSSA Northwestern Invitational has always been our biggest event each summer, it now has a much greater impact on the players.”

– Mike Cuzzone – USSSA baseball – Amateur Baseball Report – (Sponsors of the Northwestern WTL Tourney)

Chris Weber from Big Ten Network

“Seeing first-hand the effect John Trautwein and the Will To Live Foundation had on the Parents, Coaches and Fans at the Will To Live Baseball Tournament at Northwestern was Incredible to say the least, but it was the Powerful Effect it had on the Kids that I will never forget. With the Kids hanging on John’s every word; it was a special moment seeing them embracing the message of Life Teammates and the Will To Live Foundation. For the kids to see the importance of being there for one another during the good times and more importantly the bad was Amazing. I never thought I’d see male teenagers in this World hugging and saying “I LOVE YOU” to each other and not caring about who Won or Lost the game, but I did through John Trautwein and the Will To Live Foundation. I’m not a kid, but I got the message loud and clear and now use it in my everyday life. It’s never too late to be a Life Teammate, you need them in to through this Crazy World we live in.”

– Chris Weber, Senior Producer, TeamWorks Media (Producers of the Big Ten Network’s LiveBig Program)

Eric Mogentale from Northwestern

“The efficacy of actions and words seldom have lasting meaning and impact without the message and the messenger possessing firsthand experience, purity of heart and truth. At the Northwestern University’s Will To Live Tournament, all of us were witnesses to the power of the concept of Life Teammates. The message of John Trautwein and the Will To Live Foundation will serve our dear youth and will endure, not because it is merely spoken, but rather because it has been lived and tested, is pure and is truth. All of us, who participated in the Will To Live Tournament, whether as a player, coach, spectator or supporter, will never be the same, and we are better for it.”

– Eric Mogentale, Northwestern University Career Home Run King & Life Teammate of John Trautwein

Mark Slattery from Northwestern

“John’s message about life teammates and love for the player/person in the dugout next to you was overwhelmingly well received by the young men who participated in the WTL Tournament as well as their parents and family members. John’s passion for this message is truly inspiring and literally created an instant bond with the players that enabled them to (maybe for the first time) genuinely appreciate their teammates – their teammates for life!”

– Mark Slattery – Northwestern University All Big-10 Shortstop and Life Teammate of John Trautwein

Brandon Allen from Newton Park Recreation

“John’s message is simply inspirational. He helps us understand it’s not only what we say to our youth players, but how we say it. John stresses the important role we as coaches play and the life-long impact of our words and actions both on the field and off. Success isn’t always measured in wins and losses, makes or misses- but in the impression we can make in the lives of a child.”

– Brandon Allen, Director Newtown Park Recreation, Alpharetta, GA

Devon Cole from North GA University

“Creating this foundation is truly what made Mr. John Trautwein happy and even though this happiness came from a tragedy sometimes God works in mysterious ways. I truly believe that God needed Will (Trautwein) more than we did here. Even though I was never graced with the pleasure of meeting Will, just listening to his father speak really inspired me and I almost felt as if there was a little piece of Will that Mr. Trautwein held with him as he spoke to us on Thursday. My closing remarks are just if you’ve never heard this man speak it’s truly inspirational and motivational story and he touched my heart in more ways than one.”

– Devon Cole, Student N. GA University

Candice Porter from Screening for Mental Health, Inc.

“John reached out to me last year shortly after Will’s passing. Unfortunately, in my line of work I all too often encounter families who have lost a child to suicide. To be able to take the pain and grief of that kind of a loss and turn it into something positive is remarkable. John not only wants to raise awareness about the tragedy of adolescent suicide he wants to teach parents, educators and most importantly other children how to be Life Teammates ready to ACT – Acknowledge, Care, Tell – if a friend is exhibiting signs of depression or suicide.“

– Candice Porter, MSW, LICSW, Screening for Mental Health, Inc. and the SOS Signs of Suicide program

Rev. Neal Kuhlhorst from Johns Creek Presbyterian Church

“Life teammates! If ever there was a time for a positive, life affirming model of support and encouragement, now is the time. John’s passionate commitment to sharing hope and love through the practice of life teammates sets a new standard in best practices for our community. John is a true role model who both talks an inspirational talk and walks the compassionate walk, saying, “I love you, man” through word and deed. Keep shining your light John! Where there’s a will there’s a way is the path we all need to walk together. Becoming life teammates challenges us to be our better selves and therefore, a better community.”

– Rev. Neal Kuhlhorst – Pastor for Congregational Care – Johns Creek Presbyterian Church

Ron Wellman from Wake Forest University

“John’ compelling message to young people comes from his heart. He has always had a passion for youth and now he combines that passion with a life experience to reach out through the “Will To Live” Foundation. His message to his audiences about loving one another is not only strong and full of impact but it also motivates them to establish caring relationships with their peers.”

– Ron Wellman – Director of Athletics – Wake Forest University

Dan Shaughnessy from Boston Globe

“John Trautwein and his family have taken the most difficult tragedy a family can know, and turned it into a message to help us all. Our kids are at risk and we need to make sure they always have a will to live, and the Will To Live Foundation’s Life Teammates message is helping to make this happen.”

– Dan Shaughnessy – Boston Globe

Dick McNeil from NGA State University

“On October 20, 2011 John made a presentation to a capacity crowd of 300 students at North Georgia College and State University. He put on a clinic of immense educational value and connected with everyone in the audience. His presentation was informative and inspirational; John addressed lessons on oneself, principled leadership, and life that our students can apply in their life. There was a consensus among our students that his presentation was truly exemplary and one that will resonate with them for years to come. We are grateful for John participate in our series and the impact he made.”

– Dick McNeil, Professor of Business Marketing, NGA State University

Jeffrey Marx, a Pulitzer prize Winning Author

“Every child in America should get to learn about the concept of life teammates. What a better world we all would be living in! That is why I wholeheartedly support the work of John Trautwein and his Will To Live Foundation. John is a man of remarkable passion and purpose, and he is an agent of change. His messages are capable of changing children, changing families, even changing whole communities – and all for the better.”

– Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer prize winning author of Season Of Life

Bob Wiedemann from Fellowship of Christian Athletes

“John Trautwein sees the big picture. He recognizes that the wins, trophies, championships and glories experienced on the fields and courts of play are short term victories that quickly die and fade away. Through his “Life Teammates” message, John communicates very well that the true wins in life are found in relationships. Long term, deeply rooted relationships that are often formed early on in life as young men and young women gather together as teammates and experience the ups and downs of athletic competition together. John challenges all of us to recognize that the platform of team sports is to be viewed as a catalyst to the formation of what truly matters most in life. Our love for one another. John’s message is a message of encouragement that needs to be heard by coaches from all levels of competition as well as every parent who has a child involved in the world of team sports.”

– Bob Wiedemann, Dir. Of Community Sports Ministry, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)