10/09/05 A Year to Remember
The anniversary year started out with a trip to Lincoln, NE, where we participated in a benefit concert for missing Gina Bos of Lincoln. Gina has been gone for almost 5 years. Her sister, songwriter/singer Jannel Rap of CA, has been a leader in our cause, using her talents to spread awareness for the missing. http://www.411gina.org/
In November, we went to NYC and filmed our segment of Jason’s story for the Montel Williams Show. (Please see the post previous to this one for that story.)
Late in November, a group of volunteers led by Danae Leali and Vanessa Wagner from Ashland University in Ohio, started the 1st annual Adopt a Missing Person campaign, ending with an all-day prayer vigil for the missing. Students and staff adopted 432 missing people from the program. You may read more about that story here: http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_fullstory.asp?id=26714
In February, Project Jason launched the first ever national missing person’s locator program that seeks the missing among the homeless. The history behind this program is discussed in the story I posted here: http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2005/08/inspiration.html
In January, we went back to the state senate and re-presented Jason’s Law. We ran email campaigns to educate the public and the sentators, and saw this bill pass and become law. I wrote about Jason’s Law several posts ago, entitled “It’s the Law”.
April was scholarship month, and Project Jason awarded the 1st annual Jason A. Jolkowski Scholarship for a local area high school senior who has learning disabilities. More information about the scholarship is on the Project Jason website http://www.projectjason.org/Education.html
Spring coincided with several trips for us. In early April, we traveled to Wilmington, NC for the Cue Center Conference. We attended training sessions on topics related to what we do and met several of ours peers who work in our cause, including Monica Caisson of the Cue Center, and Libba Phillips of Outpost for Hope. The week after that, I traveled to New York State to be the Keynote Speaker for the Center for Hope’s annual New York State Missing Person Day. My keynote address was based upon my “Let no Stone Remain Unturned”. You may read that piece at http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2005/08/let-no-stone-remain-unturned.html
At the end of April, my husband, Jim, son Michael, and I attended the government conference Identifying the Missing in Philadelphia. We were chosen to represent missing person’s families nationwide, along with our friends the Lyalls of the Center for Hope, and Robert Cooke of the Rachel Alert Network. Several other families were there, including families who represented loved one of missing persons, such as John Bish, father of murdered Molly Bish. I speak of that conference often in my postings, as we learned a tremendous amount of information about DNA and the issue of the unidentified missing. We met many movers and shakers in the cause, including John Walsh. We also met Major Robert Lowery, who was instrumental in helping two families we worked with, one of whom found their missing loved one.
May brought warmer weather and year number 2 for our Miles for the Missing family bike ride. We had several families of the missing represented, and continued to educate the public about safety and missing person’s issues. http://www.projectjason.org/miles.html
The fight for fair media coverage took off in May, and I was interviewed on NPR’s News and Noted with Ed Gordon, along with Rebkah Howard, aunt of Tamika Huston.
On May 20th, I was in New York once again, this time, as the Keynote Speaker for the 10th annual Ride for Missing Children, a major fundraiser for NCMEC. I wrote about this on two separate occasions.
The very next week, upon arriving home from our National Missing Children’s Day event, we found out that Jason’s Law had been passed!
June was quiet, as we privately observed the 4 year anniversary of Jason’s disappearance.
July was a very busy month with the media, beginning with an article written by our friend Dawn Rizzoni for CNS News. Just a few days later, USA Today ran an article about lack of missing coverage for missing adult males. Jason’s story was featured. This kicked off numerous radio talk show interviews, including the Mike Gallagher Show and the Ron Thulin Show. I was also in the national Fox show “Dayside”. “Let no Stone Remain Unturned” was published in the National Center for Missing Adults newsletter.
At the end of July, I started this blog, and with the help of our gracious readers, have had over 8,000 hits thus far.
Thanks to KlaasKids.org, Jason’s face once again was on a national TV show in August, the Nancy Grace Show, although we did not receive any leads from it. We keep trying, never giving up hope.
In September, Jason was featured on the Racing for the Missing program, which I have written of twice.
October 6th marked Project Jason’s two year anniversary.
By the numbers:
We have served over 200 families since our inception in October of 2003. We have prompted distribution of an estimated 35,600 missing person posters through our 18 Wheel Angels program and an estimated 3,700 through our newer Come Home program. More than 1,200 missing persons have been adopted through the Adopt a Missing Person program and we have either distributed in person or via our website over 10,000 Personal Id Kits. I have written 23 stories focused on a specific missing person on this blog, plus numerous educational pieces.
I cannot sum this up in mere words. I can only say that we shall continue on our path, doing what we are called to do for the missing. We are privileged to be tasked with this duty. And to Jason, wherever you are: “Look what has come about because of you. We honor your name with each action. While we wish for you to be with us, if that is not meant to be for now, we carry will on. We know that had you been here, you would whole-heartily give your stamp of approval. Someday, somewhere out there, we will find you.”