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Jared’s legacy is the gift of music

Jared Lizakowski’s family is taking the sorrow of their loss to bring happiness to others, making his memory all the sweeter. Lizakowski died at age 19 on Oct. 26, 2016 in a motorcycle accident on Niwot Road. His family has put their energy into making sure others have the opportunity to experience what made Jared happiest – music – through the J.A.R.E.D. Foundation.

Surinder Dahiya, Lizakowski’s step-father, said, “We created The J.A.R.E.D. (Join a Revolution Educate Drummers and Other Musicians) Foundation, a Colorado 501-c3 organization, last spring in memory of Jared to increase access to music education in Colorado. Our mission is to help kids follow their dreams of becoming a musician through music lesson scholarships and instrument collection and distribution.“

Lizakowski’s family also donated a memorial bench, which was placed on the newly completed forecourt of the Niwot Firehouse Museum. His family gathered on July 16 to fasten a plaque on the bench that reads, “We love you always,” and to offer powerful words about the young man they miss each day.

During the dedication, Lizakowski’s mother, Renae Dahiya, read this statement: “We donate this bench to The Old Fire House Museum as a symbol of Jared's loving and giving nature. May his love of music live on through the scholarship recipients of The J.A.R.E.D. Foundation and his spirit remain present with everyone who stops here.”

The foundation raised $15,000 its first year, all of which went toward providing instruction for budding musicians from elementary school through high school. There’s a waiting list of eight students ready to begin lessons.

Students come to the attention of the foundation either by being nominated by a teacher or by completing an application themselves. As donations come in, the foundation is able to commit to musical instruction for students for up to a year.

The family has also set up instrument “petting zoos” at various events such as Rock & Rails concerts and farmer’s markets, introducing young people to a variety of instruments.

The second annual “Remember in September” fundraising event for the J.A.R.E.D. Foundation will be in full swing from 12:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept 8, at 300 Suns Brewing, 335 First Avenue, Longmont. The musical lineup includes VuduSunshine, Wendy Woo, and Mojomama, along with local up and coming youth bands playing throughout the afternoon and night. The event is free and donations are welcome.

The foundation is looking for business and individual sponsors to help with the fundraiser. In-kind gifts will be offered to raise additional money at the event. All contributions go directly to students receiving scholarships and instruments.

Surinder Dahiya said, “The J.A.R.E.D. Foundation was the tip jar recipient at this year’s first Rock & Rails concert. Due to the generous support of the community, we raised $1500 at this event. What we need most at this time are donations. We encourage people to donate funds, instruments or volunteer to work with us.”

For additional information on the J.A.R.E.D. Foundation and to learn how you can participate, visit All donations are tax deductible.


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