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Just Jaq! | Giving Back


Ho ho ho! ‘Tis the season!  And since giving is such an important part of holiday spirit, I wanted to take a moment to “Share & Tell.”  Each year I donate my time to one special project in my local community.  This year, I focused on children and I teamed up with Fighting Faces and The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to create a special calendar featuring children who are fighting cancer.

Each of the children below has cancer – and is fighting against it for their lives. To give them a break we invited them for a day at the zoo with a very special VIP treatment.  We all know that animals can have healing powers (thank you Horse Whisperer) – but you really don’t know what that means until you are watching it unfold before your eyes. The fears of these children unraveled in the company of these creatures.  And for just a few moments, every child was allowed to simply be a child – to throw off the responsibility of fighting for Life- and to take a deep breath (of the aroma d’zoo) and just enjoy the moment.

{A Pause} I know what you are thinking – and this concept can’t possibly sound fresh or profound as you are reading it.  “It’s a universal message, Jaq!” One that has been said far better by poets and PHDs {of which I am neither}, but ask yourself – “Am I in the moment?” – like… right now? YES! Are you?

Below are just a few of the photos featured in the calendar as well as some extras from Behind the Scenes.  I consider myself lucky to have been a part of the fabulous experiences that these children had on their day off from ‘fighting.’  And I am thankful for their reminder to simply live in the moment, each and every day.

The calendar measures 9 ½ by 12 with a retail price of $10.00.  Proceeds from the sale of the calendar  {click here to purchase} will be donated to a local organization here in central Ohio that assists families whose child has a severe illness and the Columbus Zoo Conservation Program.


In memory of Gabriel, 8yr (2005 -2011)


The calendar measures 9 ½ by 12 with a retail price of $10.00. It is available at the Zoo gift shop as well as online

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