The Jesse Hill Fund at Caron
Our Jesse was a ray of sunshine in the lives of many. He was a caring and supportive brother, a loyal friend, and a beloved son. He had this confidence about him without being arrogant. He was a uniter and a defender, stories have been told of how “the cool kid in school, Jesse” came to the aid of younger students, calling out bullying, how he gently calmed the nerves of little ones attending summer playground.
Jesse loved basketball. During preseason practice in senior year, he injured his ankle seriously. His doctor prescribed painkillers and told him he wouldn’t be able to play that season. Jesse defied the odds and healed, went on to play a winning season- and became addicted to the opiates he had been prescribed. It only takes four days if your brain is wired that way. No one knew. He graduated college with a B average. He repeatedly tried to get off pills by himself and failed each time. Nobody knew. So much shame was associated he believed everyone he knew would be disappointed in him. For five years, he kept his secret and suffered alone.
Like so many millennials, Jesse struggled to find his direction in life. He attended West Chester University starting in 2007 majoring in Kinesiology due to his love and skill in the game of basketball. On the weekend of his 21st birthday he interrupted a mugging, fighting off the perpetrators and defending the victims. He switched his major to Criminal Justice. Upon his graduation from West Chester University in 2012, Jesse worked in hospitality and construction, before utilizing his sociability as a car salesman.
His struggles with addiction came to light during the final time he attempted to quit on his own. Suffering withdrawal symptoms such as intense pain and chronic insomnia, he fell asleep at the wheel of his car one morning on his way to work, crashing into a tree.
He then admitted everything. Plans were made, tears were cried, and we vowed to support him through his struggles. A few weeks into his recovery, Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast. His NA meetings and outpatient therapy appointments were cancelled. Early on the morning of October 30, 2012, Jesse made a sudden decision with permanent consequences. He texted his girlfriend he was sorry, put his dog outside his bedroom door, and took his own life. He had turned 24 only three days earlier. Jesse’s shame in his addiction led him to believe there was no way out. It seemed fitting that as the storm ravaged the coastline, we lost our brother, son, best friend, to the monster that is addiction.
In 2014, a group of his friends started the Jesse Hill Wiffle Ball Tournament as a fundraiser. Reminiscent of the backyard shenanigans of their youth and comically competitive beach games of their teenage years, they remembered Jesse at his best, laughing and smiling in the sun. They determined his loss wouldn’t be in vain.
We have partnered with The Caron Treatment Centers to make sure those struggling with similar issues as Jesse have the means to seek the help they need. Our partnership with Caron’s “My Recovery Connection Program” provides funds to those seeking support following treatment, who need help staving off relapse but who struggle financially. With the My Recovery Connection Program, those seeking help with addiction and their family benefit from guidance, coaching, support, and accountability designed to help navigate and maintain the path of recovery.
Over the years, the event has raised $37,290, and we look forward to breaking the $40,000 mark this year!
This year the wiffle ball tournament will take place at Jenkintown High School on October 21, 2023, starting at 11:00 a.m. Jesse’s role as defender carries on through this fundraiser and we are grateful for your support.
Donate to the Jesse Hill Fund
If you wish to donate by mail, please make checks payable to Caron, noting your donation is for the Jesse Hill Fund and send to:
Caron Treatment Centers
Attention: Kelsey Moore
P.O. Box 150
Wernersville, PA 19565
When you provide a check as payment, you authorize us either to use the information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction.