Eight year-old Jason had been fortunate to have a fun-loving relationship with his dad. "They were almost like brothers; playing pranks on the rest of the family, always laughing" describes Jason's mom. That is why it was difficult for Jason when his dad died suddenly at the hospital after a short battle with an illness. "I saw the light leave my son when his father died and I was grieving, too. It was hard to figure out what to do to make him laugh again."

That school year the guidance counselor approached Jason's mom and told her about Junior Senior Friends. She quickly completed the application and anxiously awaited a phone call. Unfortunately, the phone call she received was a staff member explaining how difficult it was to recruit men as Senior Friends and that Jason would remain on a waiting list until a volunteer could be identified.

Approximately, 8 months later Jason was introduced to his Senior Friend Wade. Wade was a married man in his fifties that had raised two daughters and found the idea of mentoring a boy appealing because he could enjoy "the boy stuff" he used to love as a child. Jason was a little shy in Wade's presence during their first meeting until Wade asked, "So, Jason, I understand that you and your dad had a lot of fun. I hope that you can tell me about some of those things." Jason's interest seemed to peak and he ran to his bedroom returning with a dusty little trophy. "My dad and I got this at the ice fishing derby before he died. Do you fish?"

Now, four years later Wade and Jason remain friends in our program and most recently sent us photos from the peak of a mountain they climbed together. Jason starts middle school this year and Wade will be there cheering him on.