Sometimes when Dolly Madachy is on the phone talking about her efforts to create a nonprofit organization in the memory of her son, Jason Madachy, the phone clicks. Her voice echoes back at her. And this is how she knows Jason is listening, supporting her.
Jason was a Miami University graduate who died June 9, 2007 in Nags Head, N.C. while vacationing with his family. Jason-an active member of both Miami’s Sigma Pi fraternity and Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity-loved organizing philanthropy events and planned to go to Marshall Medical School in West Virginia.
Now Dolly Madachy wants to further Jason’s memory through a nonprofit organization that, she hopes, will one day give all medical students in the U.S. a stethoscope upon entering medical school. She said it would take about $3-5 million a year-but she knows the organization could achieve this goal.
“This is going to be big,” Dolly said, then repeated herself. “This is going to be big.”
Dolly Madachy said the nonprofit-called the Jason Madachy Foundation-will be holding a Chinese auction and dinner April 12 at the Patrician Party Center in Eastlake, Ohio to raise funds.
“The Patrician Party Center holds 900 people and we will be having a full sit-down dinner with an open bar,” Dolly Madachy said. “I don’t know where this is going-we’ve just started doing this for the last month, month and a half-but people have already asked if this is going to a yearly event.”
Dolly Madachy said she has already sold and distributed about 500 tickets, at $40 a person and $75 a couple. This price includes dinner and entertainment and she said she hopes it will be reasonable for college students.
Miami junior Jamie Kyriakedes is the current president of Interfraternity Council (IFC), a Sigma Pi fraternity member and a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity. He and other Miami students who also knew Jason have been working with Dolly Madachy on this project, traveling to Cleveland over Winter Break to brainstorm ways to assist in raising funds.
“Everyone who knew (Jason) wants to help him leave a legacy, even if he can’t do it himself,” Kyriakedes said.
Kyriakedes said Sigma Pi is planning on sending about 50 members to the dinner in April.
“Jason’s just a role model,” he said, explaining Jason’s passion for organizing philanthropic events.
Sigma Pi and Phi Delta Epsilon held a fund-raising event at Church Street Station last semester-a special taco night, as Jason was known to love the evening at Church Street.
The Madachy family has already raised enough funds to support a scholarship for a junior or senior premedical student at Miami for about $1,000 a year, Dolly Madachy explained. In order for a scholarship to be created at Miami, a minimum of $25,000 needs to be raised. The first recipient will receive the funds next fall. The class of 2011 at Marshall University School of Medicine, though they never met Jason, will be endowing a scholarship in his name as well.
Dolly Madachy said she hopes to raise enough funds to donate stethoscopes for Marshall students next term and then expand the project from there. She explained that the stethoscopes would have the word “arioi” inscribed on them in memory of Jason. “Arioi” is the name of a dance troupe in Tahiti and Dolly Madachy read about the term in a book.
“‘Arioi’ means to excel in leaving a mark,” she said. “We believe Jason excels in leaving a mark.”
She noted that a stethoscope already forms the shape of a heart and wants medical students to look at the instrument and understand their potential as physicians.
“Life is not all about you, rather how can I touch, how can I make my practice be the best it can be,” she said. “(We want students to ask themselves), how can I excel in leaving a mark, as they go back to their friends and families.”
“Dolly Madachy explained that Jason’s younger brother, Jeff, is also studying medicine at Ohio University.”
Jayne Whitehead, vice president for university advancement at Miami, explained via e-mail that a tree would also be planted in memory of Jason near King Library.
Between now and the April auction, Dolly Madachy said she and her family will be traveling throughout the Midwest to keep in touch with various friends and family members involved with the project, including speaking at Sigma Pi’s national convention Feb. 1.
“Once this thing gets going, it’s going to snowball,” she said.
For more information, Dolly Madachy said a Web site, www.jasonmadachyfoundation.org, should be up and running within the next few days. Donations for the raffle will be taken until March 1.