Jonathon Cote was a U.S. Army Veteran from Western New York who was taken hostage, along with four others, while working as a private security contractor in Iraq on November 16th, 2006. This website was created to provide an unwavering effort to ensure the safe return of Jonathon and the other hostages to their loved ones and friends. We were disheartened in early 2008 to learn that all five hostages were killed by their captors. Jon was held captive/missing for 523 days before his body was flown home to us in Buffalo on April 28th, 2008.
Our efforts are now focused on preserving and honoring Jonathon’s memory. In order to turn this tragic event into something positive, we organize an event 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.
Since Jon was a high-risk adventurer and avid motorcycle rider, we decided that a fun way to honor him would be to have a yearly motorcycle run in his honor. The ride takes place every August and starts at Williamsville North High School (WNHS), Jon’s alma mater. We have created this event to raise money for an annual $1,000 scholarship (originally it was a $500 scholarship) for a student of WNHS in Jon’s memory. Any additional funds are donated to WNY Heroes, in order to help them serve and support our Western New York military heroes & their families. So far this event has raised $7,500 for scholarships, $32,500 for WNY Heroes and $3000 for Freedom is Not Free (our first-year beneficiary).