Jeanette Wragg 1957-2015
Jeanette Wragg died on March 4th, 2015, and her passing has affected many, many people. If you are a MotoGP fan, you may be one of them, even though you may not realize it. With Jeanette’s passing, the bell tolls for us all.
Those of us who knew her personally are crushed by the loss, both as we feel it personally and because of how her absence will affect our favorite charity organization, Riders for Health.
Jeanette was one of those people who contributed her unique skills and energy behind the scenes, anonymous to the crowd though she was surrounded by superstar names and personalities. So while many, many people benefitted from her dedication to Riders of Health, hers may not be a familiar face among those with whom she worked regularly, such as Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner… I could go on, but I expect you get the idea.
If you’ve ever attended a Riders of Health fund raiser, specifically the Day of Champions or similar auctions held at other MotoGP events, Jeanette helped you. If you enjoyed watching an auction, seeing your favorite riders from across the classes present leathers, helmets, boots, gloves, hats, t-shirts, fairings, etc etc, to be signed on stage – Jeanette was the one who made those items appear by going to the riders to ask what they could contribute to that auction.
If you were ever lucky and generous enough to bid on and win one of those items, you have Jeanette to thank for it being available for you to own proudly as you also supported a wonderful cause.
Nearly every item I’ve donated for auction since 2009 has been worked out with Jeanette. She was the one who held all the auction items in her mind and could say if at this event Riders for Health needed a Rossi print or a Marquez, a Lorenzo or a Stoner.
Thinking about her since March 4th, I’ve had many memories and feelings, and one thought stuck me the other day. While many people in the MotoGP paddock know a handful or riders, very few know the majority of them. I believe Jeanette knew them all. If you could gather all the riders together and ask whom they knew in common, Jeanette would near the top of that list.
Even when the Day of Champions was over, I’d see Jeanette on her phone, moving briskly through the paddock, attending to some Riders for Health business or other. She always had a smile and wave for me even as she continued on her way.
The paddock won’t be the same without her. Riders for Health will go on, but it won’t be the same without her. MotoGP will continue, but behind the scenes, it won’t be the same without her.
Andrea Coleman, Co-Founder and CEO of Riders for Health, issued this statement:
Jeanette was the spirit of Riders. She believed so much in the work of Riders for Health and she never gave up, whatever the challenge. She was loyal and courageous. She was loved and respected by us all and there will never be anyone like her.
You can read more about her on the Riders for Health website.
Photograph: ©2014 by Scott Jones / PHOTO.GP – All Rights Reserved
[mgallery keyword=”Riders for Health”]