If you thought the first Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation “Hit ‘er Whiff” Golf Outing was fun, just wait until you see what’s planned for this year!! The Second Annual Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation “Hit ‘er Whiff” Golf Outing is scheduled for Sunday, June 7, 2015 at Mid Vallee Golf Course, 3850 Mid Valley Drive in De Pere, Wisconsin. For those lucky enough to attend last year, you’ll most definitely want to return … and for those who were unable to join us, you don’t want to miss this year’s event. Online registration is now open at joshuarichardsfoundation.org. Space is limited, so please register today. If you sign up and pay in full by March 1st you’ll receive free entry into a special Early Bird Give-Away. If the most important shot in golf is the next one, then the most important Golf Outing of the season is this one!!
By Coach Scott Hamilton
In July and September, 2014 the Gillett High School Football team received two cash donations from the Joshua Richards Charitable Foundation that directly benefited the Gillett High School Football Team.
The Gillett High School team is comprised of 36 youth members and is coached by a staff of 5 mostly volunteer coaches. I am among one of the coaching staff and volunteer my time to this wonderful sport.
As many know, many school districts have been hit hard by budget funding over recent years, and our school district was among those. Given the small budget provided to us from the school district, many of the players have had to rely on fundraisers (brat fries, banquet and donations). These funds help us provide proper equipment, supplies and uniforms for our players.
The donations from the Joshua Richards Foundation went to purchase a new first aide bag which replaced 2 very old boxes; matching socks for the players for both games and pink socks for breast cancer awareness month; athletic tapes; playing cleats; laces; replacements cleats; and other supplies.
In 2014, for only the 3rd time in school history, the team made it to the state playoffs and advanced to the second round, which has never been done in school history. All the items donated were used in getting us to this level. The Gillett High School Team and coaching staff appreciates the donations and support from Josh’s Foundation and others.
In honor of Josh’s mom and fellow co-worker, Jackie Pische, the Forest County Potawatomi Family Services Group gathered to “Pop A Top for Josh,” challenging others to join the campaign in support of the Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation and Organ Donation. What blessings and rewards are found in working with people who truly care. Bless you all!!
Josh’s family has been invited to ride on the Donate Life float in the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2015. The Donate Life float honors millions of people touched by organ, eye and tissue donation, including living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates. Thirty individuals have been selected to ride the 12th annual Donate Life float. They all have unique yet unifying stories that become part of “The Never-Ending Story,” the theme of this year’s float. The majority of the riders are organ and tissue recipients. Four donor mothers, whose sons and daughters saved lives with their selfless gifts of life will join them, including Josh’s mom and the dynamic force behind the Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation, Jackie Pische.
Jackie will be honoring Josh and the gift of life he has given to many, including his tissue recently used in her back surgery. Jackie will be wearing Josh’s Jersey with pride, and she along with the Foundation bearing his name will continue to bring awareness of how important being an organ donor is in the time of tragedy or loss. Please join us in celebrating these heroes, visit the links below for stories on the float riders and Josh’s gift to Jackie … and become an Organ Donor!!
Please join us in the Pop a Top for Josh campaign to support the Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation and Organ Donation.
Joshy’s family, friends, Foundation and many others, miss our Josh who we lost on December 8, 2013. However, 7 people woke up on December 9th to a new hope at life, 2 people could now see and up to 50 will receive the gift of tissue, including his dearest friend, and mom, Jackie Pische.
We challenge you to Pop a Top in honor of Josh and the Foundation bearing his name and in support of organ, eye and tissue donation. ALL you need to do is take a picture of you popping a top of your favorite beverage (soda, juice, wine, Pabst, whatever) and tag the joshuarichardsfoundation Facebook page or send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominate friends, family and coworkers, visit the joshuarichardsfoundation.org, and make a donation to this challenge through the month of December.
If you live in WI go to the University of WI Organ Donor site at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/health/donatelife or outside WI at donatelife.net to learn more on organ, eye and tissue donation and register today to be a donor! In Joshy’s name, please join us.
On October 2, 2014 several Board members of the Joshua Richards Charitable Foundation and transplant recipients had the opportunity to travel to Madison WI to present a check to Mike Anderson, Executive Director, and the hard working individuals at the UW Organ Donor Program. This program, like Josh’s Foundation, are both non-profit organizations and donations are always a blessing to continue with our goals.
This event brought many members of the UW Organ Donor Program and American Tissue Services Foundation together, some we knew from their participation in our events, some we knew only from correspondence, and lots of new and talented people who work hard to save lives everyday for us. This is committed group of individuals provide outreach, education and coordinate procurement of organs, eyes and tissue when one of us leaves and gives the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Without them many more lives would be lost waiting on a transplant list. They are a top notch team that Mr. Anderson heads up and thank them for all of their teamwork.
Our great friend, and truly an inspiration, Matthew (age 7) was also able to present his check that had been donated by party guests during his last birthday. Matthew, the grandson of the lung recipient, selflessly asked his birthday guests to donate to the Joshua Richards Charitable Foundation in lieu of gifts and generated $660.00. Matthew and his entire family are our new heroes and are a shining examples that our future is in good hands.
In addition to Matthew, “Larry the Lung” and family and “Benny the Heart” with his beautiful fiance were also present and both shared heart felt words (no pun intended Benny) on what their gift has meant to them and their families. Meeting these recipients has been an honor and thank them for reaching out to us through the UW Organ Donor Program when we needed it. As a donor family, we think often about the recipients and are so pleased to have the opportunity to know them and watch their healing.
I was able to share my gratitude as well, and let everyone know how the organ donor program saved me following Josh’s tragic and sudden death. Had that horrible event been the last memory of Josh, I am not sure how we would have moved on through life. Instead, our lasting memories are of Josh, giving to others as always. He saved seven lives and restored sight for two and in the future will be helping many others with his tissue donation. I was the first recipient of his tissue only a few weeks prior to our visit thanks to the work of the American Tissue Services Foundation and Medtronic. We have learned that both ATSF and Medtronic continue on with their work and up to 50 other individuals all over the world may benefit from Josh’s tissue donation in the months to come. Josh’s still not done!
Our day ended with a beautiful cake thanks to Laura and best of all, watching Larry jog to his car!!
We want to thank all of our wonderful friends and family for participating in our fundraising events and the generous cash donations that continue to be received. This has allowed us to remember our beloved Josh and make our world a better place.
With school in full swing and students anxious about their sports programs starting up again, Jackie, Mike, Connie and Geno had the privilege of meeting with Wendell Waukau, Superintendent of the Menominee Indian School District in Keshena, WI, and presenting him with a $1,000.00 donation from the Joshua J. Richards Foundation to the Menominee “Hoops” Youth Basketball Program. Last year two dedicated Dads and an equally enthusiastic Grandfather started a youth basketball program for boys in grades 3, 4 and 5. “Hoops” is a parent driven, youth-focused program which provides excellent family engagement while instilling rules,raising expectations and enhancing relationships.
This year “Hoops” is planning to extend its program to include sixth grade students, as well as initiate a girls youth program. Practice began this week for the league that starts in November and ends in December. Funds will be used to pay league and tournament fees, and purchase additional uniforms and equipment. After meeting with Wendell and learning about the Menominee “Hoops” Youth Basketball Program, it’s easy to see why he was dubbed the “Champion of Change” and honored at the White House … “Hoops” is an encouraging and remarkable reflection of the kids, their parents, and the community.
The Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation had the great pleasure of presenting The Oconto River Kids with a check in the amount of $800.00 to pay breakfast costs for the kids, families and mentors who participated in Bear Hunt 2014. This non-profit charity is dedicated to taking children with severe or terminal illnesses into the outdoors, and has grown into a wonderful experience for both the recipients of the program as well as those providing it. A great deal of planning and prep work goes into this event including arranging for bear tags, reserving the hunting land, bait, mentors, dog teams, hunting assistants, taxidermy services, butchering, housing and meals. All of these items are either volunteered or donated. Help spread the word about their crusade to help get kids into the outdoors.
The second official fundraiser hosted by the Joshua J. Richards Charitable Foundation was another huge success!! Over 100 participants rode ATVs, motorcycles, cars and even the “Another Way Entertainment” party bus out of Green Bay. The event was run almost entirely on donations including auction and bucket raffle items, water, soda and food. A special thank-you to Bob and Carol at Mountain Springs for their generous donation of pulled pork and brats, as well as to the many others who donated side dishes, salads, sweet treats, and time. We were once again thrilled to have our friends, Samantha and Dottie the Donor Dot, from the UW Donor Program join us as they continue to add enjoyment to every occasion while providing education and information on their wonderful life saving program.
Thanks to your participation and generosity, we not only raised additional funds for the UW Donor Program, but also substantially increased resources to help children in NE WI participate in sports and other extracurricular activities. Watch for updates on the many donations the Foundation has made on this site as well as on Facebook. We include repeated thanks to our sponsors: Caroline Implement, Homan Trucking LLC, Spirits of Gillett, White Clay Lake Lodge & Campground, to our Poker Run stops: AA Bar, Eagles Nest, Everbreeze, Mulligan’s, School House, and Spirits of Gillett (a double donor), and to all who gave so generously in the name of Joshy.
The Joshua Richards Foundation Board met to discuss the planning of our all vehicle poker run set for August 23. his will be fun for all. Poker run stops are Spirits of Gillett, Eagles Nest (Suring), AA (Breed), Mountain Springs Motel and Campground, Everbreeze (Mountain) Schoolhouse, (Mountain) and Mulligan’s (Lakewood). People wanting to participate in the poker run can pick up the stamp cards at Spirits of Gillett or Mountain Springs Campground. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple. Cash prizes for best three hands. All stamp cards and cards must be handed in by 430 pm to be eligible.
Coming from Green Bay and don’t want to drive? Another Way Entertainment will provide bus service from Green Bay to all poker run stops and free camping in our group tent for a small additional fee. Call 920-217-2317 for more details.
Want to have a private camp site or have a camper…… camping sites are open across the street at Chute Pond Campground. They are part of the Oconto County group and can be reserved online. Sites and perhaps even a hotel room may also be open at Mountain Springs Motel at 920 276 2700
Dinner and raffles to follow the event. Join us at dusk at Everbreeze to honor Josh with a lantern lighting over Chute Pond where he spent many camping trips growing up.
Dottie and the UW Organ and Tissue folks will be on hand too!