In His Wake: Jake Bird
It’s been a busy year for Jake Bird, CTEH’s Director of Logistics and Operations Support. This summer, he was highlighted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for his work as a state coordinator for Wake the World, a national nonprofit organization. And in August, as an honoree for Little Rock’s Taste of the Finest event, he raised more than $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CF Foundation).
Wake the World
According to Wake the World’s website, the organization’s mission is “caring through sharing the gift of watersports.” It is run by boat owners with an aim to provide watersports opportunities for at-risk, abandoned, abused, and neglected children, as well as adults with handicaps and injured veterans. For 2019, the organization planned nearly 60 events with more than 500 boats in 28 states and Canada.
In 2016, Bird founded Love.Christ.Ride, a Christian ministry in which he invited locals to join him for boat trips on Lake Ouachita. He is a Hot Springs resident and member of First Baptist Church in Hot Springs.
Then, in 2018, Bird helped launch the Wake the World’s first event in Arkansas. “We wanted to use our boat to show people what watersports is,” Bird told the Democrat-Gazette. “Show people that you can have fun on the water without drinking, without drugs, and without partying.”
This summer, he led two events on Lake Ouachita: one for Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs and the other for adults with disabilities and autistic children.
To learn more about Wake for the World, visit waketheworld.org.
Little Rock’s Taste of the Finest is an annual event highlighting young professionals and challenging them to raise funds and awareness to help support CF research patient services and other mission activities of the CF Foundation.
During the event, Bird was honored as one of the Little Rock CF Foundation’s 2019 Finest Young Professionals for his leadership, community service, and business excellence. As part of the event, Bird raised almost $3,400, surpassing a goal of $3,000. CTEH also supported Bird and his fundraising effort by sponsoring a table at the event.
More than 30,000 Americans today live with CF, a progressive, genetic disease that causes mucus buildup in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. While the severity of individuals’ symptoms may vary, those impacted by CF are often plagued by continual lung infections, malnutrition, poor growth, liver disease, and shortened life spans. Since 1955, the CF Foundation has focused on “adding tomorrows” for those with CF through drug development, innovative treatment options, and specialized care. To date, the foundation has funded hundreds of millions of dollars in groundbreaking scientific research. These efforts have significantly increased the life expectancy of those with CF—from approximately 10 years of age to more than 40—so individuals are able to live longer, healthier lives.
The event was held in August and featured tastings of local restaurants and breweries, a silent auction, and live music. More than $110,000 was raised by the honorees. To learn more about the CF Foundation, visit CFF.org.