The tragedy that started a movement.
John Fontaine, Jr. was the type of person everyone wanted to be around – funny, kind, friendly, talented, and in his prime – all before an alcohol-related incident took him too soon at age 16. John was a good kid that made a bad decision that cost him his life.
John was staying the night at a friend’s house where unknown to them, alcohol was being served. John’s parents knew where he was and felt even more comfortable knowing their teen had supervision. They never imagined that a fun Saturday night the weekend before finals would be his last.
That fateful night, John left the party to get food with a friend who had been drinking. Their car hit a tree, and John was killed instantly. John’s parents, Nancy and Jack Fontaine, will never forget the night that changed their lives forever when they received the dreaded phone call no parent wants to get.
John’s life was short but impactful. More than 1,200 people attended John’s funeral, filling the entire church and all overflow areas, a true testament to the person he was. Seeing this outpour of support, and wanting to honor John’s memory, the family knew they had to use their pain for a positive cause and take steps to prevent the tragedy of young lives being cut short. That’s when The John Fontaine, Jr. Center for Alcohol Awareness was born.
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Honoring the Memory of John Fontaine, Jr.
To honor their son’s memory, the family made a promise to dedicate their lives to reducing the number of preventable deaths associated with misusing alcohol.
Join us in our movement to provide a solution.
Donate to the John Fontaine, Jr. Charity and put an end to preventable deaths caused by underage drinking.
Inspired to Transform Tragedy into Triumph
The loss was devastating to John’s family and all who knew him. The Fontaine Family vowed to carry on his memory by taking positive action so that other parents would not have to receive the same call. This led to the Fontaine Center at the University of Georgia, and now to the John Fontaine, Jr. Charity.
The John Fontaine, Jr. Charity was created to promote good decision-making around alcohol use by teenagers and young adults. The Fontaine Model has already demonstrated solid successes among students at the University of Georgia and at several select at-risk high schools in local communities. The Fontaine family is committed to working tirelessly, consistently doing everything possible to make a difference, and continually expanding outreach efforts so that no other family has to experience what they’ve endured.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), it is estimated that each year:
More than 57% of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 consumed alcohol in the past month.
38% engaged in binge drinking (5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women) in the past month.
About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind, and failing assignments.
“The outreach we do has a particular significance to my own family, having lost my cousin in an alcohol-related crash. I am so glad to have the opportunity to educate UGA students on risk reduction through the wonderful platform that your support has created.”
Alcohol abuse often starts in the early teen years. Start the conversation now.
Alcohol is a gateway drug, meaning teens who abuse alcohol are more likely to try other drugs. The introduction to alcohol and other drugs begins earlier than many parents think. You may think your teen has not been exposed, but the truth is, an exploration often begins as early as age 13. All you have to do is turn on the TV or search the internet to see that we live in a society where alcohol is culturally accepted. Peer pressure, advertisements, and exposure to alcohol are just a few of the gateways to addiction. Since its implementation, the Fontaine programs have helped many young people get the support they need to tackle addiction before it becomes a problem. The program has:
Facilitated 1,561 early interventions with college students for alcohol and other drugs.
Placed 128 students in recovery programs.
Completed 360 alcohol/drug consultations and support sessions.
Tragedies are often preventable. Ours has inspired us to save lives.
Our mission is to help students make safer decisions so that no other family experiences the pain of losing a child to a preventable cause such as alcohol misuse. While the past cannot be changed, efforts can be made that will affect the future. We are committed to creating something positive from our personal tragedy.