Fundraiser to Benefit Wellmont Hospice Honors Life, Service of Former Virginia Delegate Jackie Stump

June 30, 2017 | BRISTOL, Tenn.

A special motorcycle ride recently held in memory of Jackie Stump, a former Virginia House delegate and dedicated community servant, will support the needs of patients who receive care through Wellmont Hospice.

The event, which was called Riding the Storm Out after the hit song from rock band REO Speedwagon, raised $14,210 for Wellmont Hospice. The money will be distributed through the patient assistance fund for those who do not have insurance or who need help paying for medications, hospital beds and other equipment. Some funds will also assist with basic necessities such as rent, food and utilities.

“We called it Riding the Storm Out because that’s what Jackie did when he received bad news from the doctor,” said his widow, Linda Stump. “He’d get on his 1987 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic, play that Reo Speedwagon song and just ride.”

Jackie, who died June 2, 2016, was known as a champion for those who were less fortunate and always had them at the front of his mind.

“He always worked in a capacity where he helped people. He couldn’t bear to see somebody in need,” Linda said. “Jackie stood up for working people and, to me, he was a born leader because of that. He would always put someone else in front of himself.”

She shared a story of her husband’s commitment to others that occurred when he arrived as a legislator for the first time in Richmond, Virginia.

“We were walking back from the Capitol that evening and a fire truck stopped at a hotel. As the firefighters got out, Jackie just ran over, grabbed a hose and ran with them into the building without any protection,” Linda said. “I was worried, but his aide told me to calm down – that Jackie was trained. He came out a few minutes later with ash and soot all over him and his suit.”

Linda describes her husband as a soldier from the time he served with the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam until the day he died. She said he was dogged when he was diagnosed with cancer.

“Jackie was a fighter, and he fought cancer like no one I’ve ever seen,” she said. “He was never going to give up. He would go about every year and have radiation or chemo, but he always kept working to help people. Serving others kept Jackie alive. As long as he could, his mind was focused on doing what was right, and surviving.”

She said Jackie was big about paying it forward.

“That was his thing. He believed it’s not important to be a great man but it’s important to be a good man. His last words to our daughter Ahbra were to ‘be good,’ and she knew he meant to be good at heart. He taught her to give because that’s who he was.”

It’s also a key reason she held a fundraiser in his honor. This event, though, provided a way to recognize the way Wellmont Hospice caregivers helped him at his house during the final stage of his life.

“What better way for us to honor Jackie than to pay it forward to the hospice program because it took such great care of our Jackie,” she said. “Not only were his caregivers skilled and knowledgeable about Jackie’s illness, they were compassionate and kind. Ahbra and I are so grateful because we know the hospice program gave us two and a half extra quality months with Jackie. It was a tremendous gift to our family.”

The event was organized by Linda and Black Wolf Harley-Davidson, which hosted the event after displaying Jackie’s Harley for several months. Most of the funds came from a raffle of the same Harley-Davidson motorcycle Jackie continued to ride during his nearly 11-year fight against cancer.

Wellmont Hospice leaders said the money raised in the event will have a profound effect on the patients they serve.

“We’re grateful for Linda and Ahbra Stump, Black Wolf Harley-Davidson, the sponsors and the riders for their support of this wonderful event,” said Jackie Everett, system director of hospice services. “Even though Jackie Stump is no longer with us, his legacy and spirit of service to others continues to manifest itself through the generosity demonstrated in this event. The funds this activity generated will provide valuable assistance to patients so they can worry less about their finances and focus more on their quality of life.”

Ultra Classic sponsors were Black Wolf Harley, United Mine Workers of America, Variety Car Sales, Yukon Solutions, Storm Cheer & Tumble, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and State Sen. Bill Carrico. Low Rider sponsors were “Bow Tie” DJ, Frank Kilgore, Abingdon Smiles, J.T.S. Research Inc., Matney Construction, W-L Construction and Ahbra and Linda. Sportster sponsors were Abingdon Foam Wash, Blue Ridge Realty, former state House Del. Joseph J. Johnson Jr., Owens Funeral Service, Virginia Sports and Chiropractic, state House Del. Terry Kilgore and Food Country USA. Raffle tickets were sold by dedicated volunteers and Black Wolf Harley.

Wellmont Hospice provides care for individuals at an individual’s residence, nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities and at the hospice house through 68 staff members, including physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care providers, chaplains, counselors, and home health aides. The hospice program also has 96 active volunteers.

It provides medical services, pain management, skilled nursing, emotional and spiritual support, medical supplies and equipment, social work, counseling and as many as 13 months of free follow-up bereavement care for families. Volunteer services include light housekeeping, transportation, caregiver respite, grocery shopping and other errands.

The hospice house, located behind Bristol Regional Medical Center, offers eight private rooms with 24/7 skilled nursing staff.

Wellmont welcomes new volunteers for the hospice program, and anyone who is interested can call 423-844-5257.

To make an online contribution to the hospice house or hospice program, please visit www.wellmontfoundation.org or mail it to Wellmont Foundation, P.O. Box 1069, Kingsport, Tennessee 37662.

Jackie served in the Virginia House of Delegates beginning in 1989 after winning a write-in campaign he started just 21 days before the election. He continued to serve the commonwealth until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, just after being re-elected again. He served on state boards and commissions, including the Virginia Parole Board and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.