At resqme, Inc, we are always open to building partnerships to raise awareness about personal and road safety. Our vision reaches far beyond being a supplier of safety tools, and we are often asked to support Foundations with a similar cause. A noteworthy example is the Ashley Neufeld Memorial Fund which was created after 21-year old Ashley died because her car sunk in a lake.
Recently, we came across a segment on NBC News to honor a Foundation created in the memory of Matthew Salenieks, who died in a car that sank. We then contacted Jamie Fenster, who was very close to him and a Board Member of the Foundation. We feel compelled to share this story, by supporting a Foundation that promotes lifesaving tips and our resqme tool, and saves lives in danger.
On December, 19th 2015, Matthew Salenieks and his best friend David Dodds were driving home when they got into a car accident. They hit a tree as they were making a turn on a very narrow bridge over a watery canal. The car flipped upside down and landed in the water. The 24 and 25 year old young men both drowned in a 6-inches deep canal of mud and water.
How could two young men, who were in perfect physical condition, stay trapped in a sinking car and be unable to escape? This tragedy pushed Jamie and her daughter Emilee Fenster, two good friends of Matthew, to find answers. They started browsing the Internet, going through video after video. They came upon a story about the resqme® tool, a tool that allows you to escape from a sinking car by breaking a side window. “We noticed that a lot of people have supported and promoted the resqme products, like journalists and scientists. We thought we had to get them”.
Emilee, who was very close to Matt, decided to give away the tool to every driver at her high school: “it could save a life”, she said. But the funds were insufficient. So, a few months after buying her first resqme tool, she and Jamie decided to sell them and do the best they could with the income they got from their sales. “We decided to take the money that we made and put every penny into a Memorial Foundation”.
In honor of the young men, they then founded the non-profit Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation which supports high-school seniors who have financial needs in achieving their goal of becoming an engineer. It is a poignant way to keep the memory of Matt alive, since he was an engineer himself. “He was an amazing guy. We feel that we are honoring him the best as we can.”
So far, the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation has given away its first $1500 scholarship and will give away the next one next year, thanks to some significant donations from friends and family members, and 125 resqme® tool sales. Jamie, Paul (Matt’s Dad) and Natasha (Matt’s sister) are Board Members of the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation, and would like to increase the scholarship to $5000, reaching more schools in addition to Emilee’s high school, who will become a Board Member on her 18th birthday. When resqme, Inc. found out about their cause, they reached out to Jamie to support her, by providing the best price possible: “resqme has been very generous” she said. When asking “Why the resqme® tool?” Jamie answered: “The resqme® was the right product to try to raise awareness for people, especially here in Florida, since we have so many canals. Matt didn’t have a chance… We want to get the tool into everyone’s hands and cars so they can have a chance!”
If you want to support the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation and help young people become tomorrow’s engineers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can save more lives!