There is a line in the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption,” where the main character, Red, finds himself at a crossroads. As he is contemplating which path to take, he utters a profound, yet simple, sentence.“You can get busy living, or you can get busy dying.”
When Geri Pope Bidwell’s three sons, Jack, Will and Rob Warren were killed in a tragic plane crash in 1999, she could have easily sank into a well of depression, fear and grief that only a parent who has lost a child can possibly begin to comprehend.
But she didn’t.
Instead, Bidwell decided to get busy living: She channelled her rage, loss and fear into a single-minded determination; and helped build a center in her boys’ hometown that would honor them and provide refuge to other children. In 2002, the Jack, Will and Rob Boys & Girls Club, known as the JWR Center, opened in Camas.
It was the result of a an extensive fund-raising effort, creativity of some of the area’s top designers and architects, and the single-minded focus of a mother who wanted to leave a legacy of hope for other children.
In a 2002 interview, Bidwell was quoted as saying, “Creating the Jack, Will and Rob Center gave me a course of action to take that’s helped me to carry on with the spirit of what my sons loved. It’s given me the ability to create something that the boys would have wished for other kids to have.”