Zach Jones Memorial Fund **AWARDEE**

Shortlist Category: Organisation

Region: The Americas

Country: USA


Connie and Larry Jones lost their only child, Zach, aged 16 years, to rabies in 2006. His illness was caused by the lack of recognition of the risk of rabies from bat exposures. Zach's parents wanted to prevent future tragedies, and launched the Zach Jones Memorial Fund (ZJMF) in 2007, with the dual goals of promoting rabies awareness and research, and perpetuation in others of the future that Zach personally held as a scholar-athlete before he died of rabies. 

The ZJMF has focused a large part of its funds on educational and outreach efforts. It commissioned professional quality educational YouTube videos to reach teen and young adults, which have been viewed more than 270,000 times. Every year since 2008, the ZJMF has sponsored an annual rabies awareness poster contest in Texas schools.

It has supported other rabies initiatives, such as educational projects by Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and the Rabies in the Americas (RITA) meeting. Since 2009, it has made large donations towards rabies research.