August 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

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About Jonathon

Jonathon Cote was a U.S. Army Veteran from Western New York whose heart & infectious personality touched countless lives all over the world.

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The Scholarship

This $1000 scholarship was designed to be given to a deserving student from Williamsville North High School who exemplifies the essence of Jon's character.

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Ride & Fundraiser

Every August, motorcyclists meet at Williamsville North High School for a memorial motorcycle ride and benefit to raise money for a scholarship in his honor.

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Our Mission

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).

Get Involved

You may donate now in supporting this fundraiser by going to our donation website;

By participating in the annual event either by riding a motorcycle or attending the celebration afterwards at The Lewiston Stone House, 755 Center St., Lewiston, NY, you are supporting a memorial scholarship program established to help a Williamsville North student who has been accepted in a college, university, or enlisted in the military.

Additional funds raised go to WNY Heroes, Inc. They assist disabled and needy war veterans and service members, their dependents, and the widows and children of deceased veterans living in Western NY. On any given night, over 1700 homeless veterans are living on the streets, in parks, under bridges and behind dumpsters in WNY. Last known statistics are that 172,000 veterans reside in the 8 counties of WNY.

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