Impact Statements

Testimonials from the Families of the Missing

Jason GrabertTo Whom It May Concern: I’m writing this short note to tell you a little about what GINA has meant to me.   I came upon them totally accidentally and I can’t thank the fates enough.  I’ve been looking for my son for over five years and it’s been a hard toll.  I didn’t know what else I could do besides the usual missing person report to the police, contacting his friends and posting on Facebook, etc.  I went to see some friends perform and they knew of my predicament.  They immediately put me in touch with Jannel, who came over during the performance and we began a conversation.  Her compassion for my situation made me feel comforted and I was able to get on stage and open up to the audience, many who were in similar situations.  I felt like I was among family. Since then, she has helped me make a poster with the pertinent info and it gets posted at whatever venue GINA is at. You can’t know how that feels, that someone, somewhere might see my poster with my son’s picture and recognize him.  My story is not over yet, he hasn’t been recovered but I have hope.  GINA is responsible for that and I can’t thank them enough. Please work with these people.  They are a beacon of light in an otherwise dark space.

Christina Generoso, mother of Jason Vincent Grabert, Missing from Howell, New Jersey since January 3, 2009. (Jason's remains were recovered in 2017.)

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Elsha Marie RiveraMy daugher, Elsha Rivera, went missing in 2004 from Fort Worth, Texas, leaving four young children behind; her youngest being eight months old at the time of her disappearance, so you can imagine my heartbreak. Not only was I the parent of a missing person but overnight I went from being a grandmother to being a full-time single parent all in a flash of a nightmare that has lasted over 13 years. Meanwhile, we are no further in knowing what may have happened to Elsha than we were the day she went missing. The Squeaky Wheel ®Tour became part of my salvation. . .Jannel Rap, who also has a missing sister, Gina Bos, volunteers countless hours and time by spreading her lovely words and songs while bringing awareness of the missing to the public. The Squeaky Wheel ®Tour has given me support and hope when I absolutely had no one to talk to or when I felt my world was falling down on me. Imagine yourself having a son or daughter one day and not even knowing where to search or look the next day! Without the help of the Squeaky Wheel ®Tour and the GINA for Missing Persons FOUNDation I would have been lost forever. Jannel has been my support when I needed to talk or shed a tear; she has made sure that no matter where she performs or travels with the Squeaky Wheel ®Tour she has always represented my daughter in her shows, making sure Elsha is seen by hundreds throughout all her travels and tours. Something I wouldn't be able to do on my own because I'm no longer a single woman who could just pick up and travel, spreading Elsha's poster all over the U.S. The last 13 years, I've had to pick and choose travel to spread the word of my missing daughter or be the mother of four children who were left without the love of their mother. My hat comes off to Jannel Rap. I commend her for the work she does and the many blessing she has bestowed upon my missing Elsha and those of her children as well as myself. Without the Squeaky Wheel ®Tour I would have been lost completely. Jannel brought me back to life and I will forever be in her debt. I love you, Jannel, like a daughter.

Elizabeth Rivera, mother of Elsha Marie Rivera, Missing from Fort Worth, Texas since February 1, 2004

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Elizabeth Ann is a fabulous non-profit organization. The help they provide in spreading the word and bringing the missing home is incredible. I have a sister kidnapped at age two in 1965. Elizabeth Gill is the longest registered missing child in Missouri. Most people have no idea what little help was available in 1965 unless you were wealthy or could prove a child was kidnapped. Even the FBI gave no assistance to our family. Jannel Rap, through has helped our family in our 50 year+ search. We believe our  "Bethie" could be alive, not knowing who she really is. We need her story spread far and if she searches answers, she can find us. Cold cases don't get solved unless someone cares. The Gill family is blessed to have warriors like Jannel and advocating for us.

Martha Gill Hamilton, sister of Elizabeth Ann Gill, Missing from Cape Girardeau, Missouri since June 13, 1965

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Tammy FloresDiego FloresHaving a missing child is a tragedy that no one deserves to endure. There is no peace nor joy in my life since the day my beautiful children Tammy Flores and Diego Flores went missing almost ten years ago. This journey has been extremely painful but thanks to the support received from real heroes that really care, I feel that I’m not alone. Thank you so much Jannel Rap, GINA for Missing Persons FOUNDation, and the Squeaky Wheel® Tour for all the efforts and amazing coverage on my children’s case.

Griselda Gonzalez, mother of Tammy and Diego Flores, missing from Victorville, California since October 23, 2007

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Billy SmolinskiDear Squeaky Wheel Tour and Sponsors: Having a loved one go missing and unable to locate is a nightmare that you never wake up from until answers come. Most cannot even grasp the emotional rollercoaster of emotions. I am the mom of a 31-year-old son at time of missing called William (Billy) Smolinski. He was last seen at his Waterbury, Connecticut home. The Gina Foundation embraced us and Billy was one featured. The support from Jannel Rap and the foundation is appreciated. The Squeaky Wheel® Tour brings together families who are able to support and embrace each other's emotions. Everyone who attends the tour are able to relate to the heartbreak of waiting with hope for each new day. It is twelve years since my son went missing and each day is a challenge. Time spent at the event was rewarding to meet others wearing similar emotions. Grateful to have been able to meet such a wonderful group of families, Jannel, members and sponsors of the tour.

Jan Smolinski, Mother of William "Billy" Smolinski, Missing from Waterbury, Connecticut since August 24, 2004

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David BirdTo Whom it May Concern: Jannel Rap from 411Gina Foundation is like an angel to me.  Her organization opened their arms wide with acceptance and understanding at a time when I needed it most.  I was devastated when my husband of 22 years went missing in January 2014.  I struggled daily and searched for support groups or someone who could understand what my children and I were going through.  Through the grace of God and Jannel's army of angels, 411Gina reached out to me and I am forever grateful for that.  Jannel was the first person I spoke with who truly understood what I was experiencing and helped me find my voice to speak out about missing persons. I was honored to be a part of the 2014 Squeaky Wheel® Tour in New Jersey.  For the first time I met other families who have missing loved ones and we immediately bonded.  I cherish those relationships. In a world where things are so uncertain, it has been comforting to know that there are people out there who do care, who understand and don't judge.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have connected with Jannel Rap. She is an amazing, peaceful soul who clearly is trying to be the voice for so many missing persons and because of that, she IS making the world a better place.

Nancy Fleming Bird, wife of David Bird, Missing from Long Hill Township, New Jersey in January 2014 (David's remains have been recovered.)

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Damien NettlesDear Squeaky Wheel Tour and Sponsors: It was a pleasure to meet you all in Dallas. It made the world of 'the missing issue' smaller as it transcended borders and that we came together from all corners of the globe with a common goal - to find our missing family members. That I felt touched by this GINA tour and not quite so alone given my son went missing in the UK. Meeting people from the States who have the same issue of a missing loved one brought us all together with a common bond that we all identified with and understood.

Valerie Nettles - Mother of Damien Nettles - Missing from Gurnard, Hampshire, England since November 2, 1996

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Jason JolkowskiDear GINA and the Squeaky Wheel Tour: We are so appreciative of your efforts on behalf of our son, Jason Jolkowski, and families of the missing that Project Jason serve. Jason has been missing from Omaha, Nebraska since June 13, 2001 and the Squeaky Wheel Tour has featured him every year. It is difficult to gain attention for long term cases like Jason's and the tour is wonderful way to use the beauty of music to create awareness. When people who don't know us or Jason, or who don't have a missing person in their life reach out to help us, it means so much to us. As long as a single strong note still plays, may the Squeaky Wheel Tour continue to be the music of hope to our ears.

Kelly Jolkowski (Founder of Project Jason) - Mother of Jason Jolkowski - Missing from Omaha, Nebraska since June 13, 2001

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Roxanne PaltaufDear Squeaky Wheel Tour and Sponsors: Thanks so much for highlighting my daughter, Roxanne. She has been missing since July 7, 2006.It is so difficult for us to get attention for her because there is not a lot of new information on her case. We want to keep her story in the media and in the community because we feel strongly that someone out there potentially knows something. We need all the help we can get and so does all the missing persons and their family. Thanks for giving my family hope. God Bless.

Elizabeth Harris - Mother of Roxanne Paltauf - Missing from Austin, Texas since July 8, 2006

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Jesse RossIt has been five long years since our Jesse disappeared. Law enforcement has really stopped looking. But they are not our only hope. The Squeaky Wheel Tour has put Jesse’s face and story out to the nation for many of those years. Utilizing music, video and speech, the SWT® keeps our missing in the forefront and refuses to let them be forgotten. We were fortunate to be in Lincoln, Nebraska to hear the wonderful music and to speak about Jesse just last year. Jesse’s picture traveled the country, prominently displayed on the side of the SWT tour bus. Jesse has been missing from November 21, 2006 until present, but we take hope each day knowing SWT keeps his face and his story in the public eye.

Don, Donna, and Andy Ross - Family of Jesse Warren Ross - Missing From Chicago, Illinois since November 21, 2006

Molly DattiloDear GINA, Volunteers and Sponsors of the Squeaky Wheel Tour: Thank you for all of your support for Molly Dattilo. She disappeared from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 6, 2004. It has been a very difficult road for the family to travel, but you have faithfully helped us continue our search for her. Your support has never wavered, and your strength has granted us hope. With every year that passes, Molly's light dims gradually. Yet, we can count on you to shine the bright spotlight on her beautiful face again to remind everyone she is not forgotten and our search will continue until she is found. Thank you for carrying the torch for our Molly and for all the missing.

Our deepest gratitude, The Family of Molly Dattilo - Missing from Indianapolis, Indiana since July 6, 2004

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Jennifer and Adrianna WixWhen a person that you love is missing but don't meet the public's criteria as newsworthy of National media attention, it is a true blessing to know that there are people who care to help. That's what I have experienced with the artists on the Squeaky Wheel Tour. My daughter and granddaughter, Jennifer and Adrianna Wix have been missing from Tennessee for eight years and for five of those years have been featured on the Squeaky Wheel Tour, bringing them exposure that they may not have otherwise received. Words can not express the gratitude in my heart for Jannel Rap and all the artists who give of their time and their hearts to help all the families that have someone missing. Thank you all for what you are doing!

Kathy Nale - Mom and Mimi of missing Jennifer and Adrianna Wix - Missing from Cross Plains, Tennessee since March 25, 2004

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Karen Jo SmithI have been involved with the Squeaky Wheel Tour for over six years. My Stepdaughter, Karen Jo Smith vanished from her home on December 27, 2000. There were very little resources to be had in bringing media to a 35-year-old mother of two, so I researched online and found Jannel Rap and GINA for Missing Persons. GINA became a lifeline for myself and Karen Jo's family. From there began not only a support system, but a deep commitment to bring this type of attention to others through Gina For Missing concerts, now known as The Squeaky Wheel Tour. We held Indiana's first GINA Concert in the fall of 2002. Jumping forward to 2006, the Squeaky Wheel enabled two young ladies to be located alive! I am truly blessed to be able to have Jannel and all of the volunteers of GINA in my life and hope that this year's Squeaky Wheel Tour aids in locating more of our missing throughout the world.

Sincerely and Always IN Hope, P. Bishop - Stepmother of Karen Jo Smith - Missing from Indianapolis, Indiana since December 27, 2000

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Charles Horvath-AllanAugust 10, 1989 – RCMP Serious Crime Unit File 1989/21784 - 20-year-old Charles Karoly John Horvath-Allan and citizen of Yorkshire, England, disappeared in 1989 whilst visiting Kelowna British Columbia, Canada. That was 23 long years ago. The few missing organizations that existed in 1989 were unable to assist as my lost son Charles was considered an adult and as such could not be placed on missing children's registers. After so many years on my lonely, lonely road the Squeaky Wheel Tour kindly included my lost son Charles on their Webcast and their missing web site. The miles SWT – their volunteers and Jannel - travel; the unforgiving hours SWT work tirelessly to promote awareness of the missing and has got support from so many other amazing musicians who also kindly give their time support.

Denise Horvath-Allan - Mother of Charles Karoly John Horvath-Allan - Missing from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada since May 26, 1989

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Randy SpringMy son, Randy Charles Spring, disappeared October 10,1988 and to this date has not been found. He was to go hiking in the San Jacinto Mountains in Whitewater, California. I have truly been blessed by Jannel and her Squeaky Wheel Tours and all the work she does to benefit missing persons. She has been looking for her sister for years and could have easily given up but she did not, instead she got her group together to bring attention to hundreds of missing persons that were forgotten. She featured my son on her tour and what a blessing that was because she cared. Someday I will be attend one of her shows and how I am looking forward to that day and just to be able to give Jannel a great big hug and let her know she is loved.

Arlene Spring - Mother of Randy Charles Spring - Missing from White Water, California since October 10, 1988

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