Image: James W. Foley Foundation
“I believe that frontline journalism is important. Without these photos and videos we can’t really tell the world how bad it might be.” – James Foley
What do you do when your cause is too great to be contained in one country? You share it with the world. The loss of conflict journalist James W. Foley, known as Jim, brought home that many are fighting to educate and show the human side of the world’s most hostile countries. In the wake of his horrific loss, those who loved him most banded together to create the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. The Foundation sustains James’ legacy by supporting American hostages, their families and conflict journalism.
The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation’s message and purpose is three fold. First, when discussing American hostages, they give opportunities and resources to advocate on the behalf of kidnapped American citizens abroad. Since initiation the Legacy has prompted government response in the creation of the United States Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell. By the end of 2016 the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell has brought home 88 American hostages. Its second aim is to encourage and educate journalists about international safety and its ties to freedom of the press; to acknowledge men and women like James who share his passion for conflict journalism. Third, by partnering with national organizations and higher learning institutions to create a curriculum that teaches students the risks of conflict journalism. It arms the students with the knowledge about the world’s terrorism, strife and violence and teaches them how to prepare and respond to these challenging situations.
Some of the ways the Legacy celebrates its message is through encouraging and inspirational media events held annually. The James Foley Freedom Awards honors three individuals who continue Jim’s legacy of compassion, courage and commitment to American hostages abroad, safety for conflict journalists and the human rights and dignity of all people.
The other notable annual event is the James W. Foley Foundation 5K & Virtual Run. The race was started by a Rochester, New Hampshire pediatrician, a fellow citizen of Jim’s hometown. The 5K run was created to support and benefit the foundation. What sets this 5K run apart from others is the component of The Foley Virtual Run.
Our friends and longtime mug club beer stein customer, Revolution Tap Room and Grill in Rochester reached out to us to see if we would be willing to create custom mugs for this important community event. We were happy to help! Together we designed a custom medallion for our traditional beer mug finished with a brown and white glaze. We handmade and donated additional mugs that were given to the top finishers of the run.
The outpouring of support from around the world for the traditional 5K was so great that the race organizers reached out with an interactive solution. On October 17th the 5K in Rochester was a great success, but even more exciting was that hundreds of people from around the world also ran. Donning their Foley run t-shirt’s and posting pictures to social media using the hashtag #irunforjim, people around the world shared their passion for Jim’s legacy. The foundation’s founder and president (also James’ mom), Diane Foley, stated that mugs sold out in minutes, creating more funds to support the foundation’s efforts.
It has been an honor to work with such an amazing organization. We here at Grey Fox Pottery are so grateful for the time, energy and enthusiasm that they dedicate to continuing a man’s memory and message. If you have a fundraising event, consider what a unique and special touch a custom stoneware mug could add for your supporters. Get in touch with us for more information.