February 20, 2007 -- BICSI mourns the loss of Ray Gendron, a well-known telecom and structured cabling specialist and founder of the BICSI Cares children's charity. Gendron died on February 18 in a Montreal palliative care facility following a battle with cancer.
According to a press release issued by BICSI:
"Gendron founded BICSI Cares when he passed a hat down a row of seats at a BICSI Conference in the late 1970s. It came back to him filled with money. Since there was no way of knowing who gave what, he decided to give the money to charity and a tradition was born. What started as one BICSI member making a gesture of goodwill has evolved into an ongoing, heartfelt effort by BICSI members, conference attendees and organization supporters.
The motto 'BICSI Cares' was officially adopted in May 1992; since then more than $1.15 million has been collected and presented on the last day of each conference to a charity in the host city. BICSI Cares has given money to charities worldwide to help build schools, feed the hungry, prevent abuse and violence, combat illiteracy and provide for an overall positive environment. Over the years, BICSI Cares has made contributions to more than 50 organizations across the U.S. and worldwide."
"The telecommunications industry has served us well," Gendron once said. "The objective of BICSI Cares, Inc. is to be good corporate citizens and give something back to those less fortunate."
BICSI's current President John Bakowski commented, "We have lost a great human being and outstanding BICSI member, BICSI Cares founder and a past president. Ray was a friend to everyone he ever met."
"In essence, Ray has been by our sides at every conference, spurring us on to collect more money for the kids," added BICSI Cares' committee chair, Christine Klauck. "I am so saddened by this news."
The family of Ray Gendron announced funeral arrangements in Tuesday's Montreal Gazette.