Turning Tragedy to Triumph

When two Rogue Gateway Rotarians and their wives were traumatized recently by a carjacker, their fellow club members wanted to express support and gratitude for their safety.

In June, an armed man invaded Steve and Kristi Roe’s Grants Pass home, fired a shotgun at them and stole one of their trucks. The man also damaged property and carjacked another person at the home of John Jones and his wife, Joan Starr, who also live in Grants Pass. All of the victims were shaken but, thankfully, unhurt.

Ironically, both Steve Roe and John Jones are volunteers at the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, mentoring and providing encouragement for youth in custody.

“Two things that Steve and John share are a strong spirit of gratitude and a passion for helping those who have made bad decisions that land them on the wrong side of the law,” said Gina Marie Agosta, this year’s Rogue Gateway Rotary president. “It seemed only fitting that the best way for us to honor them after this incident would be to make a special contribution to the Oregon Youth Authority where they both volunteer,”

Fes Lellis, activity and volunteer coordinator at OYA, let the club know of his hope to form a soccer team at the correctional facility that would provide the incarcerated youth with exercise and team-building skills. Rogue Gateway Rotarians responded by raising more than $1,800 to help with that dream. They purchased soccer balls and on Thursday presented Lellis with a check for $1,554 to use for shoes and other soccer supplies, and additional items for the Youth Incentive Fund Program.

“Thank you, Steve and John, for being incredible role models, not just for the youth at OYA, but for all of us as well,” Agosta said. “We love you and are so grateful that you are part of our Rotary family.”

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