Although originally conceived as a way to reinvigorate the monotony of the standard Walk-A-Thon event, the first annual Coma Jaywalk-A-Thon quickly earned its way on to the official list of “Coma’s Really Bad Ideas.”
By Coma News Staff
Created by Micah Horncraft with a goal to raise money to help find a cure for a yet to be identified disease, Horncraft insists he began with the greatest of intentions.
“This was going to be a fun and energetic new way to help raise money for worthwhile causes,” Horncraft said. “And even though several people died and countless others were severely injured, I still think this event raised some money and awareness.”
The Jaywalk-A-Thon was held on a Friday in downtown Coma. More than 400 participants turned out for the event, which got underway with a bagel and coffee kickoff event near the Coma Cemetery. Late in the afternoon, participants, who raised money through a series of pledges, took off toward the town’s bustling streets.
“I was really charged up,” Chase Donovan, 16, said. “This was my first fundraising activity I had ever taken part in. It was so cool. Then, about a block into it, my friend got struck down by a bus. He’s okay though. The bus was coming to a stop.”
Donovan said that while he would consider participating in future events, he’s going to be a bit more careful in choosing the activity as well as the cause.
“Apparently, they never got around to choosing a disease to benefit,” Donovan said. “I thought that was kind of odd. Also, the more I think about it the more I think unleashing hundreds of people onto busy streets during the middle of rush hour is probably not the best idea either. But you live and you learn. Well, unfortunately not everyone who participated lived.”
Aside from the more than 30 reported car accidents, the event also resulted in the deaths of three participants not to mention the nearly 40 others who suffered critical injuries.
Ironically, the tragedy of the First Annual Jaywalk-A-Thon helped generate several other fundraising events, the proceeds of which went directly to benefit participants of the Jaywalk-A-Thon.
“You can’t make this shit up,” said Coma Sheriff Paul T. Frostnib . “I think it’s nice that people want to help charities and try to cure diseases, but let the professionals handle it. If you’re not sure who the professional organizations are, just ask them whether or not multiple people have ever lost their lives during one of their events. That’s a good place to start.”
Horncraft, however, remains undeterred by what he calls a “minor setback.”
“Our biggest mistake was probably not identifying a charity or disease sooner in the process. That’s probably the one thing I would change,” Horncraft said. “But shit, I didn’t realize how much work these things were and we kind of just forgot all about that part.”
Horncraft said plans were already underway for a second annual event, planned for next spring. He said he will definitely make some adjustments based on lessons he learned from the first event.
“We’re probably going to hold it in the evening,” Horncraft said. “There are a lot fewer cars driving around the streets at night time. That will help a lot.”