by Lisa Tome
Brian and Christine Killough haven't forgotten the worst time of their lives.
For the past 19 years, the Killoughs have worked quietly behind the scenes to be there for other families who are dealing with similar loss.
Their daughter, Jacki, died October 12, 1994, after she was struck and killed by her school bus. Shortly after the accident, the couple worked to get stop sticks installed on all school buses in an effort to keep other children safe.
They also started the non-profit Friends of Jacki Foundation, which has helped pay for funeral expenses and travel arrangements following the deaths of children in the community. "We don't want any fanfare. We just want to help people," said Brian Killough. "We try to do things quietly. It's not us doing it. It's the community. This community carried us for a while, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I'd go home and my lawn was mowed. There would be groceries in our kitchen. Because people did that for us."
So they began raising money and giving back. Once, over the years, Killough went to a benefit car wash which was set up to help pay funeral expenses for an area teen who was killed. He got his truck washed, gave $1,000 donation to the cause, and then drove off.
"We live in the same community (as when Jacki died.) Her memory lives on in it. My children feel the same way. We are just giving back. If we let go of this foundation, we're letting go of a memory. As long as we keep it going, she lives on," he said.
They are about to turn up the volume on their efforts.
On Saturday, October 12, the anniversary of the death of Jacki Killough, the Friends of Jacki will host a Motorcycle Run and Rockfest. The proceeds of this event will be donated to Rising Sun High School to pay for the Tiger football team's new uniforms.
The motorcycle run will be held from Hannum's Brandywine Harley Davidson on Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pa. Registration with a $10 donation (also covers Rockfest admission) begins at 12:30 p.m. Kick stands up at 2 p.m. Music will be provided by Jeff Stike and food will be available for purchase. The run ends at 3 p.m. at Susquehanna Inn, Conowingo.
Rockfest begins at 3 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m. The $10 donation includes a raffle ticket. Food and drink will be sold. There will be raffles, silent auctions, and music provided by Old Skool, The Instigators, Big Company, Wicked Wayz, The Remnants, and Ultra Cult. Killough said that people were quick to sign on to be part of the benefit. "The community does everything. We get to be along for the ride," said Killough. "This foundation will be around as long as I'm around."