Upon Jason's death March 23rd, 2003 we established the "Jason Plite Memorial Fund"
( a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization) in hopes
of being able to give a gift to the
Swimming and Art Departments (two of Jason's passions)
of the Grand Ledge High School where he attended and graduated from in 1999.
The Fund did so incredibly well we felt it was imperative that we incorporate the Fund,
appoint a Board of Directors, and establish it as a charitable/non-profit organization and continue
to raise funds so that we can give out Grants and Scholarships to students in the Grand Ledge
Community pursuing further education in Art and Swimming!
We will continue to raise funds by holding an annual Fund Raising Dinner Event each April.
2014 Jason Plite Memorial Dinner
annual Jason Plite Memorial Fund Dinner was held Friday April 18
at the Grand Ledge Opera House. It was an evening of celebration and full of lasting memories. It was with great pleasure that we awarded 3 Jason Plite Memorial Fund Scholarships. The Jason Plite Memorial Fund would like to acknowledge Sofia Gentil, Mark Mills and Thomas Sereseroz as this year’s recipients.
Sofia Gentil, was awarded a $2500 Art Scholarship. Sofia moved here in 2012 from Brazil as a Junior in High School and has taken the bull by its horn and has plunged into creating many opportunities to pursue her incredible gift in Graphic Design at Lansing Community College with plans on transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
Mark Mills, was also awarded a $2500 Art Scholarship. Mark has many talents which has inspired his desire to learn and experience life through his art. Mark plans to attend Kendall College of Art and Design with a focus in illustration and creating video games.
Thomas Sereseroz was awarded a $5000 Swim Scholarship. If its not breaking school swim records and studying before and after practices he is tutoring and mentoring other students. Tommy also has a creative eye and hopes to use his abilities in obtaining his Masters Degree in Robotic Engineering. As Tommy has been accepted at two colleges his dream would be to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
We were honored to have Paul Jockimo as our guest speaker this year. Paul is a veteran of 30 years in the Fire Service. Formerly with the FDNY, he now works for the Westchester County (NY) Department of Emergency Services. Founder and President of Peer Support Networks, Inc. as well as a Faculty member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, he is known internationally for his work in Crisis Intervention and Peer Support. Through his own personal challenges he has faced in his life and his strong desire to help others in need has made Paul an incredible inspiration. He was instrumental in obtaining and delivering a piece of the World Trade Center to Moody AFB, which was primarily in memory of Jason and Komodo 11 crew.
Special acknowledgements go out to; The MSU Air Force ROTC “Silver Eagles”, they were in attendance representing the U.S. Air Force, to post and retire the colors as well as entertain us with a precision Rifle Presentation. Hats off to Colleen’s Cuisine who once again provided an exquisite meal. A special thanks to Delta Flowers, the Opera House, Grand Ledge Jewelers, Cakes A Bloomin, Gladstone Printing and David Chapman Agency, for their wonderful support and behind the scenes donations that make our dinner a great success. The Silent Auction that helps support our endeavors has grown and offered a wide range of wonderful items from local businesses. Quality Suites, English Inn, Cuigino’s, Sun Theatre, Eagle Eye and Centennial golf course, Goldfish Swim School, and Piece of Mine Pottery were some of the contributors. Local artists and former scholarship recipients also contributed beautiful pieces, handcrafted jewelry scarves, photographs, paintings, books and much more.
Jason, like the select few that endure, and attain the honor, of being a Pararescueman, had an abundance of talent and special qualities. The “PJ” promise to the world “That Others May Live” says it all, as Jason lost his life while on a mission to rescue 2 Afghani children, just after completing a mission that saved 3 severely injured Afghanistan Nationals. This is why we share his passion and honor him every year at this dinner, providing scholarships for the outstanding students listed above.
To date the Jason Plite Memorial Fund has awarded 30 scholarships totaling $70,500.
We would like to recognize all the family, friends and the Grand Ledge Community whom continue to generously support the Jason Plite Memorial Fund.
The Jason Plite Memorial Fund Board of Directors
Paul V. Jockimo
Paul Jockimo is a veteran of 30 years in the Fire Service. Formerly with the FDNY, he now works for the Westchester County (NY) Department of Emergency Services. Founder and President of Peer Support Networks, Inc. as well as a Faculty member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, he is known internationally for his work in Crisis Intervention and Peer Support. Paul first gained attention as the subject of the 1974 book “Don’t Feel Sorry for Paul”, a chronicle of his childhood as one who was born “physically different” from most. Since then, he has devoted his life to helping others. He is the recipient of multiple awards and citations including two Life Saving Awards.
In 1999 Paul trained, and helped develop the Critical Incident Response Team at Moody AFB, the home base of Jason Plite. He provided support and consultation to the base and its members following the loss of Komodo 11 as well as numerous other events. In October 2011, he helped obtain, and personally delivered to Moody AFB, a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. This was done, in large part, in the memory of Jason and the crew of Komodo 11.
He is writing his first book about his experiences with love, faith and compassion. He may be reached through his website.
2014 Dinner Event - Grand Ledge Opera House
2014 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Thomas Sereseroz, Dawn Peterson, Mark Mills & Sofia Gentil
|MSU AIR FORCE “SILVER EAGLES” DRILL TEAM|
Paul V. Jockimo - Keynote Speaker
MSU AFROTC “Silver Eagle Drill Team” Recognition
JASON PLITE MEMORIAL FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mary Gwardzinski, Colleen Austin, Alyssa Peterson, Amanda McDonald, Dawn Peterson, Pam George & Sara Clark-Pierson
Alyssa, Shaynah, Dawn, & Charles Peterson
Thank you for your continued support and very generous donations. The support from our Community
and throughout the USA has been overwhelming. This is such a special way to keep
Jason's Memory alive, and to turn a tragedy into something good.
Your support and kindness is truly appreciated!
Send a tax deductible contribution to:
Jason Plite Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 81064
Lansing, MI 48908
SAVE THE DATE! FRIDAY APRIL 17TH, 2015
For additional information, send an e-mail to following address: