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JKK Foundation annual helmet drive coming up

By Jessica Coates

jessica.coates@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Kenneth and Jackie King have organized a helmet drive every year since their son, Jonah, died in a June 2012 skateboarding accident.

“I would complain at him all the time, ‘Put your helmet on,’” Jackie said in a 2017 interview with the Post. “And, you know, he was 16. He made a choice, he made a bad decision. If he had had his helmet on, he’d be alive today.”

The parents’ foundation is named for Jonah — JKK Foundation — and it will host its seventh annual Jonah’s Helmet program June 23 at Cauble Creek Vineyard.

The purpose of the program — and the foundation — is to raise awareness about the importance of helmets and to collect helmets that can be donated to children in need.

The free event will run from noon to 6 p.m. and include activities, homemade dessert, wine tastings and a food truck.

Organizers request that participants bring a chair.

Donations of new or gently used helmets of any size will be accepted.

Jackie said the donations will go to the local Toys for Tots organization.

She said Toys for Tots does not accept gently used helmets, but she doesn’t want to discourage any donations.

“We prefer new, but what I do with those (gently used) helmets is I clean them up and keep them in my car, and when I see kids without a helmet I stop and talk to their parents and hopefully give them a helmet,” Jackie said.

Jackie said the JKK Foundation has collected about 10,000 helmets to date and has donated them to charities in both Salisbury, where Jackie lives, and Fayetteville, where Kenneth lives.

In a 2017 interview, Kenneth King cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that said 26,000 young people go to the hospital every year because of traumatic head injuries caused by bicycle accidents alone.

“We’re attempting to save a child’s life,” Kenneth said. “We’re attempting to, for some mother and father not to have to deal with the loss of a child over something that is supposed to be fun.”

Donations of helmets can also be made before the June 23 program at Cauble Creek Vineyard.

Cauble Creek Vineyard is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 700 Cauble Farm Road.

To have a donated helmet picked up, call 910-308-5038 or email jkkhelmetfoundation@gmail.com.

For more information on the JKK Foundation, visit jkkhelmetfoundation.com.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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