Movie celebrating Jones to debut Sunday

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — On Sunday, the life of long-time Hoosick Falls Central School teacher Ron Jones will be celebrated.

There will be a video shown at Hathaway's Drive-In at 8:15 p.m. as his friends and family recount stories of Jones as a beloved father, husband, colleague, mentor, coach and friend.

Jones died in April at the age of 51.

In a preview for the movie, Father Tom Zelker, the pastor at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls, talks about how devastating Jones' death was to the Hoosick community and that with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, the community was unable to pay its final respects to Jones.

"The hour-long video celebrates his life and we can remember what made him such an incredible person," Zelker says in the preview.

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There will be clips from fellow staff and faculty at Hoosick Falls Central School, along with thoughts from former football players as Jones had been the coach of the Panther varsity football team since 1996. At the end, a virtual choir, stitched together seamlessly in the video, performs a song.

"The video does an amazing job of celebrating Ron as a person," said Hoosick Falls school superintendent Patrick Dailey. "It's great how Mr. Allen has threaded the story of Ron together."

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A music teacher at the school, Rob Allen is also the village mayor. Allen is the editor of the movie.

"In the days after he passed, we weren't able to grieve as a community," Allen said. "It added another level of awfulness to it."

Allen said that he reached out to the school community to get a list of people to speak for the video, along with singers to put together a virtual choir.

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"About a week and a half after [Jones died], the first clip was back and within a month, month and a half, we had all the rest," Allen said.

Allen said a theme manifested when watching through the clips.

"A lot of the same things came up and a beautiful story emerged," Allen said. "It's almost a sequential story of his effect on people and who he was, not just a student or a teacher or a coach, but everything that made Ron so special."

There will not be an admission fee to view the movie. If interested, they are asking donations be made to the Ron Jones Fund and to purchase concessions while at the drive-in. The drive-in has a limited number of parking spaces available.

"It was a lot of work but also a good kind of work," Allen said. "I had to step away at points, it became too heavy, but I'm so beyond happy with the final project."


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