Foundation named for car crash victim Jason Rich is closing
THE Jason Rich Foundation has today announced the end of an era for the organisation set up to honour the memory of a young man who died too young in a motor vehicle accident.
A facebook post written by JRF president and the late Jason Rich's best mate, Jacob McLuskie thanked all volunteers over the past eight years who helped ensure 1522 students across Central Queensland experienced a full day of defensive driver training.
The foundation, set-up after Jason was killed in a crash on his way to work on Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd on December 31, 2009, has run fundraiser after fundraiser to fully fund the driver courses since May 2011.
Jason, a graduate of St Brendan's College and a fully qualified electrician with Ergon Energy, had celebrated his 21st birthday on December 1 but had plans for a party after the new year.
His car crashed into a tree about 6.15am between access 7 and 8 along the road, during heavy rainfall.
Tracy, Jason's mum, has a statement on the foundation's website explaining why it was set-up.
"Jason wasn't speeding. He drove a totally roadworthy car, but due to lack of experience he was unable to control his car in very poor weather conditions," she wrote.
"When I drive in the pouring rain, I think of how Jason must have been feeling at the time of his accident. Every day is a reminder of what has been taken from us. It wasn't Jason's fault he was killed. It wasn't his car's fault he was killed. It was a tragic accident which may have been prevented if he had done a defensive driving course."
Mr McLuskie said there were many reasons the committee took the decision to close the foundation "but long-story-short we, the board, feel that this is the right time to finish up after around eight years of volunteering our time and energy to make it happen".
"We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years whether you made a donation, came to one of our events or came to one of our courses. It's been incredible to be a part of,"
"I would like to personally thank everyone who's given their time tirelessly over the years to make our events happen and make sure our courses were filled. I have no doubt the work you've done has saved lives and no doubt you'll be out there continuing to make the world a better place in the future.
"While there are too many people to thank individually I just want you to know how much it has meant to have your support on this journey.
"Most of all I really need to give a huge shoutout to the engine room of the foundation for all these years, Tracey Rich and Linda McLuskie. While there have been so many other massive contributors these two have put more into this Foundation than anyone else put together, myself included.
"They are the reason we were able to put 1,522 kids through our life saving training. These guys never once complained about waking up at 3am to set-up a fun run or spending their weekends supervising a driving course. Anyone who's ever been through one of our courses owes it all to you.
"To Richie, I hope you're up there keeping an eye on us. I hope you're proud of what we've done and thank you for teaching us about caring for others and giving us the strength to make it happen. Even though the foundation is closing, your legacy will live on.
"While it's time for us to move on, it doesn't mean our work is done. We all have the power to save lives and make our roads safer. It's up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for that to make sure our kids are around to see all of their potential.
"We will be having one last hoorah using the funds we have remaining for a final course in early 2020. Details of that to come.
"Thanks again, it's been a fun ride."
Glen Laurie Hamilton left a comment on behalf of the All Classic Motor Club of CQ Inc: "I would like to congratulate the Jason Rich Foundation, for being at the forefront in making Defensive Driving available to all of Central Queensland's novice drivers.
"For Jason's family & friends to step up & carry this enormous task for 8 years is nothing short of amazing!!
"We, as a club were so pleased to be able to fund 150 young adults through the JRF course, from the profits from Classics By The Coast in 2015.
"This proved that Central Queenslanders embraced the goal set by JRF.
"Congratulations to the Ladies & Gents involved, for showing the courage & tenacity to start JRF in honour of Jason & to have run it for 8 years.
"Time to put your feet up, Jason has been done proud!"
Katie Balfour commented she was one of those 1522 students that as fully funded to do the course.
"It's up there with some of the best things I've ever done, and I'm awfully thankful for the work and the impact you guys have had in CQ and what would now be potentially even be Global. Thank you!"