Nutty Putty victim’s family bikes for widows
By Christina Hansen
- Wed, 09/08/2010 - 23:53
Three BYU students will be biking across the country to raise money for widows and widowers in honor of Emily Jones, whose late husband, John Jones, died in the Nutty Putty Cave accident last Thanksgiving.
Dan Petersen, Emily Jones’s brother and a junior majoring in business, from Salem, Va., first came up with the idea of a bike trip in high school with his friend, Eric Maughan, a senior majoring in economics, from Schenectady, N.Y.
The idea turned into a reality after the accident, as Petersen looked for ways to raise funds for his sister, who had a 13-month-old daughter and was expecting a second child at the time of her husband’s death.
John Jones slipped and became trapped upside down in a tight crevice in Nutty Putty Cave last November. Despite attempts to rescue Jones from the trap, he died 28 hours later.
When discussing making the decision with Maughan to do the fundraiser, Petersen said, “We’re both young. We’re single. Let’s do this.”
According to Petersen, his sister received a lot of community support after her loss, so he decided to change the original purpose of the trip and chose to raise money for the Liz Logelin Foundation, an organization that gives grant money to recent widows and widowers.
“We’re super, super stoked for this foundation,” Petersen said.
Petersen said they hope to raise $50,000 for the foundation and also to publicize the foundation’s cause.
“I think we can really make a difference in the lives of a couple of people,” Maughan said.
Jonathan Miller, Petersen’s cousin and a sophomore majoring in civil engineering, from Tracy City, Tenn., decided to join the expedition while he was working with Petersen last summer.
“The memories that we’re going to generate across this trip are going to be unforgettable for the rest of my life,” Miller said.
The trip is scheduled to start Oct. 4 from Virginia Beach, Va., and they plan to travel along the southern border of the United States for two and a half months until they reach San Diego.
Maughan said he’s excited about the trip because he loves meeting people, and he likes having a purpose for what he’s doing.
“I’m kind of one of those high adrenaline guys that’s always going on adventures,” Maughan said.
Miller said he’s never done anything of this magnitude before, but he’s excited to be able to spend more time with his cousin.
“I consider Dan a huge motivation and role model for myself. He’s a very inspiring young man,” Miller said.
Petersen said he’s only planning on doing the bike trip once, but he hopes it can become an annual event for the Liz Logelin foundation.
Maughan said he plans on continuing to bike after this.
“I want to keep doing things where I have a purpose. It’s not just like reading a chemistry book where you’re doing it for yourself,” Maughan said.
It is possible to track the bikers’ progress on their Facebook group, The Nutty Putty Bike Trip.
Petersen said all donations will go directly to the foundation, and all expenses for equipment and food will come completely out of pocket, aside from some donations from local sponsors.