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Memories

 

July 1, 2013

Dear Johnathan:

Thanks for keeping me on your mailing list. I'm always so pleased to receive your exciting news and to know that the JAG Fund is thriving and surviving. Also, I'm so happy you continue to have such a close alliance with ABTA. As you well know, the funds you raise are significant and spent wisely and the extraordinary efforts you and your family and friends put forth each year are amazing.

Like everyone else in middle America, there's no doubt that you all have your own share of difficulties over time - health issues, financial concerns, child-rearing, parents' and in-laws' worries, and a myriad of other happenings, but each and every year you manage to host multiple successful fundraisers in your brother's memory to help others. Awesome and amazing doesn't come close to describing you and your annual feats.

It was my distinct pleasure and privilege to work with all of you for almost 20 years; I'm thrilled that the JAG Fund has persevered. Please accept my warmest regards and convey my sentiments to the entire Gingras clan. I'll be thinking of you all Aug 2-3 with hopes for sunny days and smooth floating down the river.

FYI, I am well and busy and thoroughly enjoying this phase of my life.

With deep gratitude and respect for all you do,
Naomi Berkowitz


October 24, 2006

"The Joy of having known Joel is greater than the anguish of missing him."

Frederic Leleu


August 4, 2005

An email from brain tumor survivor, Kelley Maresca (Cevasco), to JAG Fund Board member, Tom Christiansen

Hi there Tom...Kelley here. I wanted to thank you for sending me along the information in regard to this past weekends JAG event...I was so excited to be a part of it! You guys have an amazing organization and should feel wonderful and proud of all that you do to help brain tumor research..because of people like you, it was possible for my challenge to equal success and health! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please pass my thoughts onto Johnathan and Christian. I really am interested in learning more about the JAG organization and finding out the different opportunities/avenues in which I could get involved. Smiles & Health!

Kelley

 


April 1, 2005

An email from the 2005 Co-King of the Tube Float, Gordon Grauer to the Board of the JAG Fund.

Good Monday Morning to all!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for another exciting and successful JAG Fund weekend. This is the Grauer's favorite weekend of the entire year and they seem to get better as the years go on. Pam and I are already looking forward to next year. The weekend started out with amazing weather for a wonderful golf outing (even if we did have Joe Laving in our foursome). The golf outing was followed by an exceptional party at the Leleu residence, which by the way is one gorgeous home. Just when you thought things could not get any better, we enter the river on a beautiful day with an exceptional group of tubers (even if Bob was afraid to float) only to find ourselves having the time of our lives floating for a cure. Once again, just when you thought things could not get any better, the Saturday night bash was one of the best times ever in JAG Fund history. The icing on the cake being crowned "King of the tube float". Pete and I are ecstatic to be co-kings of the 2005 Tube Float. Pam and I want to thank all of you for all the hard work that you all do to make the tube float what it is today.

Thank you all for one incredible weekend!!!!

Sincerely,
Gordon and Pam Grauer



April 20, 2005

Memo via e-mail to Johnathan Gingras from long time friend, St. Bonaventure University classmate and former girlfriend of Joel’s – Tricia Iodice Hamilton

Memories of Joel

Johnny Boy, I still have such clear memories of how I remember Joel, it's bizarre. I think, still, after all these years, he might have been my first love! God I just adored him....he felt different and that's OK - we had a very cool mutual respect and love for each other. Hard to believe it was so many years ago. Some days, it feels like I can reach out and touch it, smell the air, remember the voices, the music, but most of all the feelings. The deep love and friendship with a group of people whose lives all came together for a reason. Although I did not live up to my academic potential at SBU, I certainly learned who I was and forged friendships that remain steadfast in my heart and soul today. To this day, I know of few groups of friends or colleges that have what we do - by that I mean the very extended group of friends that has grown and developed over the years. We were daring to say the least!

There is a saying - "Love like you have never been hurt, work like you don't need the money, and Dance like no one is watching." So much in that saying can sum up Joel, the Tube Float, our SBU friends, and hopefully how we each are able to see our lives today!

Some other thoughts that remind me of Joel:
* "I wish I was a headlight on a North bound train"
* "Not Fade Away"
* "Nothing shaking on Shakedown Street
* Used to be the heart of town
* Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart
* You just got to poke around."

Tricia Hamilton

 


December 27, 2004

An email from Naomi Berkowitz, Executive Director of ABTA, to Johnathan Gingras thanking the JAG Fund for their 2004 donation.

Dear Johnathan:

Congratulations to you on commemorating the JAG Junior Fund’s 15 th Anniversary in such high style! You sure know how to keep that Holiday Spirit high. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

On behalf of the American Brain Tumor Association and our entire constituency – researchers and patients alike – please accept our sincere gratitude for the JAG Junior Fund’s most generous gift of $90,000. A more formal letter will follow, but I wanted you to know your check and beautiful letter was received today.

Your tribute to your brother and son and friend, Joel, speaks volumes about your love for him and your collective dedication to winning the battle against brain tumors.

We wish Happy and Brighter Tomorrows to you all.

Warm regards,

Naomi

Naomi L. Berkowitz
Executive Director
American Brain Tumor Association

 


August 10, 2004

An e-mail from Shane Foresman, JAG Fund Board Member and Events Director commenting on his commitment to the JAG Fund.

As I said to Christian, this has become and obligation to me. Not as much as obligation to your family as much as and obligation to myself. The core group of my friends are based in The JAG Fund. The cause brings us all together and has allowed me to join a great network of people both within your family and around the tri-state area.

Don't overlook what YOUR cause is doing for all of us.

Shane

 


August 9, 2004

Memo via e-mail to Johnathan Gingras from Christian Gingras. CG forwarded an e-mail from a co-worker who attended the 2004 JAG Golf Classic.

Johnathan, this is from Jim Bowe who is a co-worker of mine at Info Systems. He played in Tom Graham's 4-some. Jim's son who is 8 years old has cancer. Jim himself is a cancer survivor. He's a good man.

On a side note, what a special event your family put on for the JAG fund. It was very (very) inspirational to me. Your wife is "very cool"! Friendly, outgoing,
and engaging. The entire family, including your sister-in-law(s) on both sides, brother, and event helpers embraced everyone in the room. I believe the "family atmosphere" is one reason the event is so successful. You are a fortunate man Christian, to have a family like that and friends as you do.

Jim

 


August 6,2003

Hey guys,

I just wanted to say thanks for another great Tube Float weekend. It’s
getting better with age regardless of the fact Matt left early on saturday.

Thanks again.
Loaf (Chris Bellino)





August 2003

Memo via E-mail to Martha Gingras Baisch from life long friend Joe Lavin:

You know Martha, you all have a great family. I have always realized that fact but Friday I found myself (when not dancing) reflecting on that point. I watch with amazement at how well you all coordinated and delegated all the responsibilities. Sure, you do it to raise money but just as important is keeping the memories of Joel alive. As a family, you all work so well together. From my perspective (which I trust is correct), every year the Gingras family only gets closer. It is great be a part of that.

I never met Joel but through the years of participation with the float I feel like I know him very well. And I’m a better person for it! Thanks Mart.





August 14th, 2002
Hi! American buddies.

I would just like to say how fun the tube float was, it was the most
warming, thoughtful experience I’ve ever had, and a good introduction to America. I never knew Joel but I felt I’d known him for years from meeting all his buddies, and sharing your memories. It seems like Joel was a very fun guy, like you all are.
Thanks for making me feel so welcome. Its definitely been an experience of a lifetime, I would like to share it all with you all again sometime. Let the good times roll. See you all in 364 days.

P.S. I’ll definitely be back for the tube float next year.
Love the English (Newcastle) Guy. Adrian xxxx
(Lisa LeLeu‚s Intern)- Adrian Hanlon





Jay Altmeyer Tribute Letter 2001

Hey Gang,

I remember one thing from Joel’s funeral.... several of us from Bonas ended up at Kelly’s in the early afternoon for a few pops in Joel’s name. Well one thing led to another and a huge spitball fight broke out. Here we were, a bunch of young professionals shooting saliva-laced balls of paper at one another in a family restaurant. It was so very childish, yet I think Joel must have been cracking up on his way through the pearly gates of heaven.

Johnathan, I think I speak for all of us when I say no thanks are needed. I am so proud and honored to be a part of the JAG Fund and the good work that we do. More importantly, I treasure the relationships I have with you, your entire family, and all of the members of the JAG Fund. You people are very important to me and I love all of you. I was blown away several years ago when you named me the first "king" of the tube float. But what all of you did Friday night in awarding me the president’s award really touched me. Mere words cannot express how happy I am, how much it means to me, and how much I thank you.

What I find to be truly amazing is that most of the people on the float knew Joel very little or not at all. And these are the people who are raising money for someone they might have never even met. They never got to have a beer (or 12) with Joel, they never saw the Joel and Johnathan show on the ice for the St. Bonaventure brown Indians, and they never got a chance to cruise the streets of Philly with you two after being picked up at the airport in a shiny new red Chevrolet cavalier convertible with the top down on a beautiful spring day on our way from one bar to the next.

However, these are the people who come to Doylestown year after year after asking their friends for more money for someone they never knew. Of course the golf and tubing are fun events. But do you know why they keep coming? They come out of love and respect for the entire Gingras family and the JAG Fund. You are wonderful people and it’s a great cause. I will work as hard as I can to "keep Joel’s spirit alive" as father Gerald put it. I’m pretty sure all the rest of us will do the same.

This past weekend was one of the best I think the jag fund has had in some years. We had an awesome golf tourney, the float could not have gone more smoothly, the parties were kick-ass, the after-hours at the hotel were like the old days, and the money raised should be at an all-time high. Yet I challenge each and every one of you to think of how we can make it bigger and better. I challenge each and every one of you to come up with ways to get the word out on the JAG Fund and how we can raise more funds. For instance, an idea hit me at 5:45 am on Friday on my way from the Warrington to the casa Gingras. You know those little plastic license plate holders on your car. We could put www.jagfund.org on the top and "supporting brain tumor research" on the bottom. Or we could make refrigerator magnets, or bookmarks for all you readers. These are little thing but who knows how many people they might reach. The ideas are there folks. Lets come up with many more.

Until then, Johnathan, you know that I will always be there for you and the JAG Fund. Once you are my friend, its "buddies for life, I always say." take care and I hope to stay in touch with all of you.

Your friend always,

Jay Altmeyer

 

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