Free Jonathon Cote

7th Annual Memorial
Motorcycle Ride & Fundraiser

Sunday, August 2nd 2015

Jonathon Michael Cote was a Western New Yorker and U.S. Army Veteran who served as a member of the rapid deployment 505th Parachute Infantry Division in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was taken hostage, along with four others, while working as a private security contractor in Iraq on November 16th, 2006. He was held captive/missing for 523 days before his tortured and mutilated body was found in an Iraqi desert. His remains were finally flown back home to us in Buffalo on April 28th, 2008.

Each year since 2009, family and friends of Jon organize a motorcycle ride and fundraising event in his memory. This year will be the 7th year for the ride which will be held on Sunday, August 2nd, 2015. We created this event in order to raise money for an annual $1,000 scholarship for a selected student at Williamsville North High School in Jon’s memory. Any additional funds will be donated to WNY Heroes, in order to help them serve and support our Western NY military heroes and their families. Last year alone, we were able to donate $6,000 to WNY Heroes. Since 2009, this event has raised $3,000 for, $4,000 for scholarships, and $15,500 for WNY Heroes Inc.

Sign in for the memorial ride will begin at 10:00AM on Sunday, August 2nd in front of Williamsville North High School at the horseshoe entrance on Dodge Road, near Jon’s memorial tree and plaque. Sign in will end at 12:30PM and will be followed by an informational rider meeting and prayer. The cost is $20 per rider and $20 per passenger. Each participant will receive a lapel pin, vehicle decal, a wristband for one free meal, and a pamphlet with information about Jon and the event. We plan to leave the high school starting at 1:00pm on a scenic route that will be police escorted. The ride should take about 1.5 hours and end at the De La Casa restaurant (1437 Ridge Road, Lewiston, NY 14092). All makes & models of motorcycles are welcome! If you do not have a motorcycle or cannot participate in the ride, please join us at De La Casa at 2:30 PM when the procession of motorcycles arrive. We are proud to have Jon's cousins the Mombrea Brothers Band performing live music again this year. There will be food, drinks, prize basket raffles, a 50/50 raffle, and silent auctions.

Over the past 7 years, we have been very thankful for all of the support from our community. It's because of this support that this event has grown with over 150 motorcycles and over 250 people participating this past year. We hope to be able to count on your support this year in our effort to keep Jon's spirit alive through his scholarship and WNY Heroes.

For updated information please visit the Facebook event page

Our Effort to Free Five

This website was originally created to provide an unwavering effort to ensure the safe return of Jonathon and the other four hostages to their loved ones and friends. We were disheartened in early 2008 to learn that all five hostages were killed by their captors. Their bodies were returned to their families in March and April of 2008. Our effort is now focused on preserving and honoring Jonathon's memory. In order to turn this tragic event into something positive, we organize events in Jon's honor to raise funds to help our community. Jon may not be here in person, but his spirit and essence live on through the good works we are able to accomplish.

Joshua Munns, Jonathon Cote, John Young, Bert Nussbaumer, and Paul Reuben.

Joshua Munns, Jonathon Cote, John Young, Bert Nussbaumer, and Paul Reuben.

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Last updated on Saturday, 18th July, 2015 @ 12:31pm

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