Last year's Paul Jackson Fund 5K. Credits: Paul Jackson Fund
Kendell's mom received help from the Paul Jackson Fund so that she could care for him full time. Credits: Paul Jackson Fund
When insurance wouldn't cover a brace that would enable Joe to feed himself and write, the Paul Jackson Fund stepped in. Credits: Paul Jackson Fund
Register Now for 5K to Benefit Westfield’s Paul Jackson Fund
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 • 7:48pm
WESTFIELD, NJ— Stephanie is a single mom whose six-year-old boy, Kendell, sustained a severe brain injury after a television and dresser fell on him. When she had to quit her jobs—including one as a soldier with the National Guard—to care for him full-time, the Paul Jackson Fund stepped in to help her pay her bills. Kendell is now making tremendous progress in his rehabilitation and Stephanie is hopeful that he will one day be able to return to school.
Then there’s Joe, who cracked his third vertebrae and crushed his fourth in a pool accident eight years ago, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Joe received a brace from the Paul Jackson Fund that enables him hold a fork to feed himself and even hold a pencil to write, giving him back some of the independence he had lost.
Now the Westfield-based Paul Jackson Fund, which exists to help people in the tri-state area facing financial crisis due to illness and/or injury, hopes to continue reaching out to people like Joe and Stephanie using money raised at this year’s annual 5K, to be held October 14 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ. The fund relies on this event as its main fundraiser for the year. In addition to runners and walkers, the PJF is hoping to gain additional sponsorships from businesses to help cover the cost of the event.
Mary Jackson, president of the fund and sister of the late the late Paul Jackson of Westfield, said that their goal for the event is to raise $25,000.
People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to get involved. In addition to the 5K course, there will be a wheelchair-friendly 2-mile walk and a kids’ fun run. Register at www.RaceForum.com/pauljackson. Cost to enter is $22 for those who register by October 5 ($25 any day after that) and the fee is waived for anyone who raises over $100. Children ages 2-11 can participate for $9.
Participants are welcome to take part in this fundraising event as individuals or as teams. (A Westfield High School Alumni team is one of the many being formed.) Registrants are encouraged to set up a personal fundraising page for free at firstgiving.com and to use that page through email and social media as an easy way to reach out to friends and family for donations. The top five fundraisers will receive a Flip video camera.
Student athletes are especially encouraged to join in. Westfield High School now has a Paul Jackson Fund club—a model that Director of Development Mary Doherty said she would love to see at other schools. “We’re really grateful to the students at Westfield High School,” she added.
For more information or to donate to the fund at any time, visit http://www.pauljacksonfund.org/.