Tribute to Jim Scott

MARCH 2021

Jim and Debi Scott

We are so sad to report that RIRC friend and long-term supporter, James (Jim) Scott passed away on February 21 after a valiant battle against pancreatic cancer. Jim and Debi Scott, along with Kathy Johnson, were the organizers of the "Plymouth Rock n Run" Thanksgiving morning turkey trot, which raised funds to support RIRC. Kathy Johnson and her son Tim organized the first race in 2008, teaming up with Fran Lopes and "Research for Cure", designating RIRC as the beneficiary of race proceeds. At this first race, Jim managed parking and Debi managed race results, but Jim and Debi took on additional responsibilities as time went on, eventually becoming responsible for the organization of the entire race. This wonderful and fun Thanksgiving morning race has generated almost $450,000 to support spinal cord injury research at RIRC.

Jim was the one out there in the VERY early morning hours setting up the course and doing everything to make the race happen. I looked through all of my photos of the race and couldn't find any of Jim. The reason is that he was out doing all the practical things from setting up drink stands to putting up the directional signs for racers and more. Fortunately, Fran did have a picture, which is included here.

Tania Jope has similar memories: “What I remember about Jim is that he was always first to volunteer for anything. Even when Jim was ill, he would work to help pack up tables and chairs at events. Jim helped to manage the books, taxes, mail...Anything that the race needed. And he had a knack for coordinating races! Jim was always so friendly and mild-mannered even at times when things got stressful. Jim and Debi also helped RIRC by attending our events and helped me (Tania) at our table to provide information. He was a very good man!”

From Fran Lopes: “Our first few Turkey Trots were not really organized although I feel everyone had a great time and overlooked our mistakes because of our worthwhile cause. It wasn’t until Jim took over as Director, that’s when we began to get real organized and everyone knew what responsibility they had. Jim fabricated most of all the equipment used for our run, which was shared with many other run organizations in the area.  I want to thank Jim and Debi for becoming board members for Research for Cure for which Debi was Secretary and Jim was Treasurer. Jim also took over the responsibility and took care of the filing of RFC taxes.  Jim and Debi are instrumental in the success of the Plymouth Rock N Run and Research for Cure”.

And from Debi: “From my unique vantage point as Jim's wife, as well as partner-in-crime with respect to our involvement with the Plymouth Rock 'n' Run turkey trot and by extension RFC and RIRC, I can say, unequivocally, that Jim put his all into everything he was involved in related to this event. He was a man of many talents and a true perfectionist -- an actual jack-of-all-trades, master of all. As the eventual race director, he did everything from event logistics planning, to designing and fabricating signage frames and bib boxes, to drafting meticulously detailed procedures for setup of the race courses and staging area. His fingerprints were everywhere . . . both literally and figuratively speaking. I know I speak for us both when I say our involvement with RIRC by way of PRNR/RFC has been a source of immense pride and satisfaction all these many years. Jim often expressed how gratifying it was to be part of this amazing event that has become an established tradition in North Orange County and benefits RIRC's important work in such a meaningful way. More than anything, though, he treasured the enduring friendships cultivated within the RIRC and RFC organizations and throughout our local community”.

And just to add one more point from Os, Jim was also the last one there at the end cleaning up the trash, loading the race material into the trucks, and interacting with the Parks and Rec folks. Jim was indeed a good man!

Jim's impact and contributions cannot be overstated. We will miss him profoundly, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Debi.

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