Tri Cities Road Club & Johnson City Morning Rotary Club to benefit 501(c)(3) Boone Watershed Partnership
Earth Week, Saturday, April 18, 2015
Walkers start promptly at 9 AM
Cyclists depart when all walkers have crossed W. State of Franklin Road
East Tennessee State University parking lot behind Knight’s Pizza
1701 W. State of Franklin Rd
Johnson City , TN 37604
Park in the ETSU lots behind Knight’s Pizza
About the Bike Ride
The Jacob Francisco Memorial Century includes quarter century and metric century routes beginning from the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) parking lot near Knight’s Pizza on W. State of Franklin in Johnson City, Tennessee. The century routes go over Buffalo Mountain within the first 10 miles, and the remaining route of the quarter century is mostly flat returning to ETSU. The metric century follows the Nolichucky River and finds some rolling hills before returning to ETSU through historic Jonesborough. Well-stocked rest stops managed by enthusiastic volunteers and restrooms are available for both routes, and Knight’s Pizza will offer post-ride bite for the metric centurions. Fruit and refreshments will be available for the quarter centurions upon return.
About the Awareness Walk
The Awareness Walk is approximately 2.5 miles non-competitive walk beside Brush Creek on the Millennium Trail parallel to W. State of Franklin toward downtown Johnson City. The walkers will begin their walk in front of the departing cyclists, and will enjoy the awareness-raising artwork completed by area elementary students in an open-air gallery. Fruit and refreshments will be available upon return. Opportunity to win prizes available to all registrants who participate in the health quiz upon returning from the educational walk.
Jacob Francisco was a kind, active, smart, handsome 6 year-old boy when he was contaminated with an E.coli bacteria from an unknown source. Flu-like symptoms quickly developed into renal kidney failure from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which spread the toxicity of the E.coli bacteria to every body organ causing him to suffer and die on June 29, 2004, just over 2 weeks of showing his first symptom. This is not a rare illness. HUS is the leading cause of renal kidney failure of America’s children. Shortly before he got ill, Jacob declared that he would be famous one day, and would be on the covers of magazines. He couldn’t say what would bring his fame, but his family and friends work to create Jacob’s fame for saving lives. The Jacob Francisco Memorial Century & Awareness Walk has been a significant fundraiser for the ETSU Foundation for the Jacob Francisco Lectureship, which has paid expenses for medical lectures at the Quillen College of Medicine about E.coli bacteria prevention and treatment. This is the 5th year that the event will raise funds for the efforts by Boone Watershed Partnership to build an environmental education park at Sinking Creek that fulfills Jacob’s legacy of exploring, learning, and caring. “Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek” will be an incredible asset for the community near the beginning of the Tweetsie Trail in Johnson City.
Before climbing Buffalo Mountain, the quarter and metric centurions travel along the high end of Sinking Creek past Jacob’s home. Sinking Creek has been found to be contaminated with E.coli bacteria; prevalently, at the lower end of the stream. The Boone Watershed Partnership is the leading organization to clean up the stream with its Sinking Creek Restoration Project. Through the Sinking Creek Restoration Project, Jacob’s story has been told, and twenty-four new sewer connections, four septic repairs, one agricultural project affecting twenty acres along Sinking Creek, and a 2.1 acre wetlands expansion are the result.
A logical extension of the project is the development of an environmental education park on 28 acres of city property that include Sinking Creek wetlands. City leaders are anxious to work with other partners to build a boardwalk and outdoor classroom at the wetlands that will be used by students from area schools. This park will be a constant reminder that will raise a community conscience to rid, or at least reduce the E. coli in Sinking Creek. The funds raised from this year’s event will go to the Boone Watershed Partnership toward development of “Jacob’s Nature Park.”
The picture of Jacob on his bike was taken on his 5th birthday when he told his father to take off the training wheels. Please come ride or walk with us during Earth Week on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 9:00AM to help raise awareness of potential dangerous E.coli bacteria, and celebrate Earth Week and the restoration of Sinking Creek.
Jacob’s Project is at the forefront to help the Boone Watershed Partnership develop this environmental education park. If you would like to financially support this development, please make your tax-deductible contribution to: BWP-Jacob’s Park, and mail it to Boone Watershed Partnership, c/o Matt Dake, 578 Beaver Creek Rd., Bluff City, TN 37618.