2006-06-01 / News

Ambulance fund-raiser in memory of Karl Smith

By Donna K. Drago

The Jamestown Emergency Medical Services organization is kicking off their annual fund-raising drive this month - this time with the assistance of the family of the late Karl Smith Jr., who, because of his lifelong illness, was a frequent user of the JEMS' services.

The goal is to purchase a fourwheel drive ambulance, which will cost approximately $100,000.

After their father's death last Jan. 28, the children of Karl Smith Jr., including Karl Smith III of Charleston, S.C., Barbara Desilets of North Carolina and Beverly Zimmer of Arizona, approached the JEMS to start a memorial fund-raiser.

Jim Filkins, administrator at JEMS, said they agreed to move up their annual capital campaign to coincide with the efforts of the Smith family, who will hold a memorial service for their father on June 10 at St. Matthew's church.

Karl Smith III said "my sisters and I want to repay (the JEMS) for all the wonderful attention they gave to our father over the years."

"We thought this would be a good way to do it," Smith III said.

Smith III noted, "We're not able to buy an ambulance for them, so we're working on a fund."

The Karl Smith Ambulance Fund is set up with the non-profit JEMS organization, so all donations will be tax deductible.

Filkins said that an insert would appear in the Press next week that will include information on the new ambulance the JEMS needs and a convenient envelope for mailing in checks.

Smith III said that the JEMS provided "incredible service to our father over the years," when he had hypoglycemic incidences as a result of his diabetes. Several times a week he became semiunconscious and needed to be revived, Smith III said.

Karl Smith Jr. was considered to be the oldest living insulindependent diabetic, having been diagnosed at age 6 and living to just shy of his 90th birthday.

Smith Jr. is most often remembered as the founder of the Fools' Rules Regatta, the island's freefor all sailing event that takes place in August.

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