Newsletter – Fall/Winter 2022

Our Foundation Boats Win!  

And so do the disabled, thanks to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB)

The top 3 finishers in the 2022 Don Backe Memorial Regatta were on boats donated by the Jack Kagan Foundation, and proudly carried our logo on the sails. All skippers had a disability, and some had an additional disabled crew member on board. It was a great day on the water for the disabled skippers and their crews who made it the tightest regatta finish in CRAB history.

Sailboats in Regatta
The race is on in front of the Annapolis Yacht Club


The morning race was won Rob Klein on Little Bit.


People on sailboatRob Klein, Chris Murphy, Scott Gitchell and Amy Harris on Little Bit.  


Afternoon race winners included Tim McGee and crew on Lindy and Kevin Detwiler on Lainie, both boats donated by our Foundation.


People on sailboat

Kevin Detwiler, Walt Laird and Maude Laurence on Lainie


People holding trophy

Kevin Detwiler (center) won the Don Backe Memorial Regatta (photo courtesy of Paul Bollinger of Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating). 

The overall winner, Kevin Detwiler was paralyzed at the age of 10 after being hit by a car while riding his bike. He started sailing with Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating in 1996. He remembers being a beginner and unable to balance well enough to sit in the cockpit.

After learning how to stabilize himself, Detwiler slowly but steadily learned how to steer the Freedom 20-footers previously used by CRAB. He has become quite a proficient sailor during the three decades since.

The annual tournament is held in memoriam of Don Backe, who was paralyzed in an auto accident, and always said he was saved by sailing. He was inspired to form a nonprofit organization that made sailing more accessible to people who are physically or developmentally challenged.

See the Capital Gazette article on the Regatta here.  A subscription will be requested for full access.

And, we’re especially excited about the development of the Adaptive Boating Center in Annapolis, MD!

From the CRAB website:

Unity in purpose, equality in accessibility, and equity in all activities and programs will make the CRAB Adaptive Boating Center the premier facility in the country, if not the world. It will symbolize the bright, blue handicapped sign in the parking lot, guaranteeing access to our beautiful Chesapeake Bay for everyone who never thought it would be possible because of their disability or challenges they face in life.”


JKF is pleased to continue supporting the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation

St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation describes the HUGS program which has proven to decrease unnecessary Emergency Department visits by up to 64%:

H.U.G.S. – High Utilizer Group Services​

The H.U.G.S. program provides intensive, individualized case management services to high utilizers of the Emergency Department. This program primarily works with individuals who have co-occurring behavioral health and addiction issues, and with those who are disproportionately affected by the social determinants of health.

  • ​Patient Profile: homeless; long-term substance use; under/undiagnosed behavioral health needs
  • Complex medical needs resulting from chronic homelessness, substance use, and trauma
  • Example: alcoholic patient with multiple traumatic brain injuries from falling while intoxicated, unable to access Social Security Disability even though they qualify for it
  • Many of our H.U.G.S. patients are previous foster children with little or no natural supports or family connections

Program has a NO EJECT, NO REJECT policy and will help ANY patient who qualifies (many have been banned from other community service providers due to non-compliance and being “difficult”)

This program has proven to decrease unnecessary Emergency department visits by up to 64%.


JKF Board votes to support services and research for  Chiari and Syringomyelia through a grant to the Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation (CSF)

What are Chiari and Syringomyelia??:  A Chiari malformation (CM) is a congenital (or rarely, acquired) abnormality in which the back compartment of the skull is too small for its contents, resulting in crowding of the neurological tissues. The lowest parts of the cerebellum are pushed down through the opening at the bottom of the skull, impairing the normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid into the spinal canal. The area of the brain often affected is responsible for controlling lots of things that you don’t have to think about like balance, breathing and swallowing.

Syringomyelia is a difficult, complex, and rare disorder. Sometimes simply referred to as a “spinal cord cyst” It is diagnosed through Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI), and occurs when a cavity forms inside the spinal cord. The cavity is caused by a build-up of fluid, resulting from a blockage.

That blockage can either be from a Chiari malformation, a spinal trauma, a tumor, or some other cause. Syringomyelia can cause stretching and, eventually, permanent injury to nerve fibers.

About the Non-Profit:  Bobby Jones CSF is currently the only organization serving patients with Chiari, syringomyelia, and related disorders to have earned all of the following distinctions: BBB Wise Giving Alliance Seal, Guidestar Platinum Seal, Health On the Net Code, and a score of 100 out of 100 on Charity Navigator.


JKF helping to knock out Parkinson’s disease! Punching Out Parkinson’s (POP) – Santa Fe

POP continues to make a real difference in the lives of those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease in the Santa Fe area. They are using the funds from JKF to upgrade boxing equipment, help find transportation for those wishing to participate who cannot drive, and launch sessions on improving and maintaining cognitive abilities.

Boxers with Parkinson's Disease
Punching Out Parkinson’s Boxers and Coaches


Not all the POP activities are about serious physical or mental exercise, though.  Come any Holiday, the boxers are ready for a party!

POP participants dressed for the holidays
POP Boxers Celebrate the Holidays in Style

MetaVivor Research and Support for Metastatic Breast Cancer Continues

Recent recipients of research awards from METAvivor include (below and linked here

Photos and descriptions of METAvivor research grant recipients
METAvivor research grant recipients

Our Foundation is helping New Mexico’s children through the New Mexico Children’s Foundation (NMCF)


New Mexico Children’s Foundation Grant Program, now in its 30th year, provides funding to small, community based non-profit programs designed to foster the physical, emotional, educational, and social development of New Mexico children and their families. Around 30 New Mexico nonprofit organizations have already received funding from NMCF for the 2022-2023 cycle.  Here is a recent video on their efforts:



New Mexico Children’s Foundation Profile from Crone’s Eye Collective on Vimeo.