Jason Kendall Ray Foundation hit milestone fundraising goal
The foundation was started in memory of Jason Ray, a N.C. Tar Heels mascot killed in 2007.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - After 15 years of working hard to fundraise, the Jason Kendall Ray Foundation hit its goal of $1 million this past Saturday night.
If you don’t remember Jason’s name, you might remember his story: He was the North Carolina Tar Heels mascot killed in 2007 during a March Madness tournament game in New York. He was a student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Concord.
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He was also an organ donor, and his organs saved many lives as they were rushed around the country to needy recipients. I spoke exclusively with his parents after that, and ESPN did a beautiful documentary that made Jason Ray’s name known.
His family continued to raise money in Jason’s name to give to UNC hospitals, and in 2016, the hospital changed the name of its transplant clinic to the UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic.
“I’d say there is not a day that goes by I don’t think about something he said or done,” his mom, Charlotte Ray, emailed on Sunday. “Last night was wonderful. We kept our word. We always said we had a $1 million goal. Started in 2009 and this past April we were still at $750,000, but now, we made it. Everyone was so excited! We have wonderful friends that made it possible and everyone who has ever attended a golf outing or an auction and dinner made it possible. Last night was proof what we can do.”
Then she added, “But I sure missed Emmitt.”
Emmitt was Jason’s dad. He passed away in the past year.
“Wish he could’ve been there,” Charlotte said. “He would’ve loved to see it. It was just a wonderful evening with the guest speakers, food, and all the fun.”
She sent photos. My favorite?
Ramses, kneeling in front of a table with Jason’s photo.
Congrats to Charlotte Ray, a mother who has never given up at reaching a goal to help others, in the name and spirit of her son.
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