5K for CSU fraternity member raises $13k Saturday

Erin Douglas

Video by Sierra Cymes.


Update 4:30 p.m. Saturday:

The Jog for Jack 5K and GoFundMe account raised a total of $13,000 in revenue for Jack Gause’s family to help offset medical costs as a result of a car accident in August, said Sam Hughes, a childhood friend of Gause and Graham. About 300 people participated in the 5K on Saturday morning.

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Photos by Caio Pereira.


One year after their graduation from Arapahoe High School, three friends reunited for a road trip in August. After spending a few days on the road and in California, they began their return to Colorado in their Toyota SUV.

Mason Ismert, a University of Mississippi student, was driving his childhood friends Jack Gause, a Colorado State University student, in the passenger seat, and Noah Graham, a University of Kansas student, in the back seat. Home for the summer, the three 19-year-olds were traveling eastbound in a Toyota SUV on I-70 headed back to Centennial, Colorado.

Toyota SUV after the accident. Photo courtesy of KJCT8.com
Toyota SUV after the accident. (Photo courtesy of KJCT8.com.)

Around 7 p.m. Aug. 4, the Toyota SUV failed to negotiate a left curve and went off I-70, rolling two and a half times, a preliminary report states. Ismert and Gause were found at the scene of the accident, trapped inside the car. They were wearing seat belts.

Graham was ejected from the car and taken by a Care Flight helicopter. He later died. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Both Ismert and Gause were taken to the hospital by ambulance in critical condition.


Gause, a member of the CSU Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, remained awake throughout the accident and emergency treatment at the hospital. At the hospital, with a broken rib, punctured lungs, a broken left leg, torn pelvic muscles and all three main ligaments torn, he told the doctors his leg felt strange.

With this seemingly minor information, the doctors did a CAT scan and realized that he had a torn aorta. Jack was inches from death, so he had an emergency heart surgery.

“Speak up if you’re in the doctor’s office, even if you don’t think it’s of any significance,” said Cathy Smith, mother of Jack Gause. “Had he not been awake and told them, he would have died. I am a very lucky mother.”

Gause is currently recovering. His torn aorta was the most serious injury, but came with the fastest recovery time. His other injuries initially left him in a wheelchair, and his rehabilitation includes recovering his ability to walk.

Phi Delta Theta, Gause’s fraternity, organized a 5K, “Jog for Jack,” to take place Saturday. The money raised from the event will be donated to Gause’s family to help offset medical expenses.

Jack Gause, left, and Noah Graham, right embrace on the first time they had seen each other after their first year away from home at their respective universities. Photo courtesy of Cathy Smith.
Jack Gause, left, and Noah Graham, right, embrace on the first time they had seen each other after their first year away from home at their respective universities. (Photo courtesy of Cathy Smith.)

Sam Hughes, a childhood friend of Gause and Graham, is a member of the fraternity and has been a leader in helping to organize the 5K.

“Hearing good news about Jack is what got me through dealing with Noah’s death,” Hughes said. “Jack is the most harmless soul that has ever been. No one would ever have anything bad to say about either of those guys (Noah or Jack). Every interaction you have with someone might be the last, so treat everyone how you want them to remember you by.”

Jack was unable to return to CSU for the fall 2015 semester due to his injuries. The other survivor of the accident, Ismert, was accepted to CSU just a few days prior to the crash. Ismert had planned to transfer from the University of Mississippi for the fall 2015 semester. Instead, both Gause and Ismert are planning to attend CSU in spring 2016.

“The fraternity has been so generous, it’s beyond words,” Smith said. “They are supposed to act like a community, and sometimes that’s forgotten. But, they proved to me and to our family why being part of a community like that is so great. I think it shows how classy CSU is.”

The Jog for Jack fund has raised just over $9,000 in revenue, according to Brandon Luke, junior Phi Delta Theta member. As of Sunday, there were 252 people signed up to participate in the 5K.

“Always say I love you, because you never know when you are not going to see someone again,” Smith said.

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Registration for Jog for Jack: link here

  • General Admission: $25
  • General Admission + Post Race Lunch at the Phi Delta Theta House: $30
  • 8 to 11 a.m.
  • 5K starting line: CSU campus, Isotope Drive (fountain near the engineering building), west of The Oval
  • Phi Delta Theta House: 200 E. Plum St.

Donate to Jog for Jack: link here

Collegian Reporter Erin Douglas can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @erinmdouglas23.