this family and how much they are
loved," Altmeyer said. "His brothers are
asking their friends and family to donate
money in the name of a guy most of
them never even met."
his siblings -- including sisters Lisa
and Martha -- to their spouses and
kids. Johnathan's children and their
cousins run a lemonade stand at the
golf tourney and raised about $400
last year "because guys pull up and
give them $20 for a glass. It's amaz-
ing the generosity of people."
slowly, raising approximately
$125,000 over the first 10
attention to pledge commitments at
the Tube Float, the growth of the
golf tournament, and the evolution
of the black-tie gala accelerated
Bill Clement at ESPN and told him about
the JAG Jr. Fund.
"host" the Stanley Cup for 24 hours; he
decided to turn the opportunity into a
fundraiser and the first person he called
was Johnathan. The event, held in No-
vember of 2008, raised almost $30,000
for the fund.
ABTA in 2008. The organization, founded
in 1973 by two mothers who lost children
to brain tumors, didn't have a formalized
awards program to honor people or groups
who had made significant contributions to
the mission of the ABTA.
dented level" of
board to name the award after Joel Jr. as
the foundation neared the $1 million mark
in donations. They agreed.
to make sure that the family would know
story would continue to be told."
JAG Jr. Fund.
Steven Brem, a brilliant, world-class brain
Penn to pool resources for brain tumor re-
search. It shook me to the ground. To have
a national award named for my kid given
to someone like that was beyond anything
I could have imagined."
notably in the form of nearly two dozen
fellowships for doctors. The ABTA receives
no government support.
Wilson said. "By keeping them engaged in
brain tumor research, we will keep the best
minds in the field."
to parcel out the money. His primary focus
is on the JAG Jr. fundraisers and in keeping
Joel's memory alive. Family and friends
serve as a wellspring of emotional support.
"It fuels our whole organization."
the affinity they all have for the Gingras
family -- especially for those who remem-
ber Joel Jr.
inspiring an extraordinary legacy." It's a
clever marketing juxtaposition, but good
luck finding anyone who knew him who
would call Joel Jr. "ordinary."
person," said Mary, his mother.
ily celebrating Joel Sr.'s birthday, a
childhood friend of Joel's emailed
Lisa Leleu, the second oldest of
the Gingras brood.
Joel Sr. said. "He told her they had
such a great time together, and
that he had bought a cemetery
plot right near Joel so when he
gets his last reward, he can be to-
gether with him in heaven."
with Mary Gingras. "People will
you cry,' but I love it," she said. "I
want to hear these stories. They
a hot August day will never fully close the
wound left by watching your child die be-
fore you do.
hell,' because you have little flashbacks
every so often and it just takes you to your
rises thanks to the tireless work of their five
us," Joel Sr. said.
think we all realized how delicate life is
and that you should never take anything
for granted. He wasn't here long enough,
but Joel gave us a pretty good idea how
to look at life."
hockey jacket at the Stanley Cup fundraiser organized
by former Flyer Bill Clement in 2008.