Jonathan's home was in Phillipston, Massachusetts. As a young boy, he would play for hours making new things and seeing new ways to use old things around the house as creative inventions. Jonathan also enjoyed being outside, playing with his brother, riding bike, hiking, sledding, going on adventures, playing soccer, skiing, and hunting. Jonathan also liked going to story hour, karate, church, Sunday school, Boy Scouts, camping, and traveling to Canada. Jonathan attended Phillipston Memorial School, Narragansett Middle School and was accepted at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, where he planned to study plumbing. Jonathan provided countless community service hours at the first annual Easter's Great Gathering, the church bazaar, the fall fair, Earth Day clean-up and more. He participated in Narragansett area youth sports, such as t-ball, baseball, basketball and soccer (his favorite!) Jonathan also played on the middle school soccer team, serving as one of the captains in the eighth grade, and playing for Westminster's travel team, the Outlaws.
As a first grader, Jonathan joined scouting as a Tiger Cub, and he moved up the ranks through Boy Scouts, having earned all the required merit badges for the rank of Eagle. Before he could complete his Eagle project, however, Jonathan passed from injuries sustained in an accident at home in 2012. Jonathan's scouting achievements were recognized at the local, state and national levels, when he was awarded the Spirit of the Eagle Award. This award recognized Jonathan's many years of commitment and dedication to scouting, where he was unable to obtain the rank of Eagle due to his untimely passing.
Throughout his 14 years, Jonathan was able to do many things, but he also met many people of all ages and had a ready smile for everyone. Jonathan would often sit and spend time with others who may have been sitting alone, or stay inside with younger children who wanted to go out with the big kids, and he would hold the door for someone and offer a smile, whether he knew them or not. When asked about why he was coloring with smaller children one day instead of out playing with his friends, he said, "...just because." Whenever people speak of Jonathan, they speak of his smile and wonderful sense of humor. They also talk about how he quietly achieved, doing what needed to be done. People mostly talk about Jonathan's kindness.
Losing Jonathan was unbelievably overwhelming, and it brought a tremendous sadness to his family and all who knew him, but we wanted to do something positive in memory of a young man who exemplified outstanding character. Initially, family and friends pitched in to award a scholarship to a graduating senior in Jonathan's class; however, we wanted to be able to do more. We decided it would be very fitting to create an organization that would enable us to recognize and support, through scholarship, the academic and social growth of students who give of their time, energy or skill set through service within their school and community. Through much hard work and determination the organization became incorporated, February 2, 2019, and subsequently obtained 501c3 status.
The Jonathan Edward Aukstikalnis Character Recognition Fund, Inc. is a 501c3 public charity created in Jonathan's name to honor the memory of a young man who was known for doing something kind... just because.
~ Officers ~
David Aukstikalnis - President
Kathryn Rice - Vice President
Hope Finch - Clerk
Heidi Aukstikalnis - Treasurer
~ Board of Directors ~
"A man's character is like a fence; all the whitewash in the world won't strengthen it."