A Tri-State family is turning its loss into a widespread effort to keep students in school.
The second annual JUCFest takes place Saturday, May 4, at the Adams County Fairgrounds building.
The event raises money for scholarship funds at Unity High School in Mendon, in memory of Robby Frazier. He lost his fight with colon cancer in 2010. Frazier was on track to go to pharmacy school after graduating from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, but he died before he could do so.
"We were working through our emotions and feelings of him passing, because that affected us pretty heavily. To have an empty room in the house was very odd," Aaron Schlipman, Frazier's long-time friend and college roommate said.
It was during a long road trip that Schlipman and several other friends of Frazier's came up with an idea that would honor Frazier and help other students achieve their goal, in his name.
"They nicknamed him, JUC, in college...for whatever reason, I don't want to know as a mother. So, his friends decided to start a party, in his name, on his birthday, every year, which is May 4. What we do, is we take the benefits from that party and we give it to kids at Unity High School in form of scholarships," Diane Frazier, his mother said.
Last year, close to 700 people attended the first annual JUCfest. The event raised $5,000 for 2013 seniors at Unity High School.
You can attend this year's JUCfest from 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Tickets are $15 each or $25 per couple and $5 for kids 15 and under. Frazier's ten year high school reunion is this year. His classmates have chosen to come together at JUCfest, so Frazier can be a part of the festivities.