This article originally appeared on PCT: Pest Control Technology Online.
Jason and Jeremy Julio may not have had a lot growing up, but the twin brothers flourished thanks to the generosity of folks in the community. They learned firsthand the life-changing impact giving back could make and resolved to make a difference in others’ lives going forward. That’s what led them both to become teachers in their local school system and, now, as co-owners of Last Bite Mosquito & Tick Control in Red Bank, N.J., avid supporters of the LymeLight Foundation.
“Lyme disease is a major issue in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast. Through our work with the LymeLight Foundation, we’re helping raise public awareness of the disease and its prevention,” explains Jason. “The LymeLight Foundation also provides critical grants for kids and young adults to get the medical care they need when they contract Lyme disease, since insurance often doesn’t cover treatments.”
When Jason says “raise awareness,” he’s talking about going big or going home. That’s where Jeremy comes in. He has earned a reputation for taking on feats of extreme physical endurance that draw crowds, make headlines and generate substantial funding for the LymeLight Foundation.
The 4x4x48 Running Challenge. Running four miles every four hours for 48 hours puts a runner well into ultramarathon territory. And, in fact, this 48-mile challenge Jeremy organized in support of the LymeLight Foundation was inspired by ultramarathon runner and retired Navy SEAL David Goggins.
In 2019, Jeremy and Jason, along with a few other local business owners, completed this grueling challenge. The Julios earned more than $8,000 for the LymeLight Foundation, while their peers contributed to their own favorite charities. Their success inspired Jeremy to look ahead to new, more extreme challenges.
Making Waves with Ride the Tide. “We needed a new idea for 2021 — something that was different from a run that would really raise eyebrows and get people interested in the cause,” says Jeremy. He came up with the idea of paddling from Oceanport, N.J., to New York City on a stand-up paddleboard.
Knowing that the 30-mile trek spanning the Shrewsbury River, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Hudson River would be not only arduous but at times outright dangerous, Jeremy trained daily for months, alternating cross- training at the gym with time on the board to familiarize himself with conditions. He prepared for wind, currents, shipping traffic and other environmental variables, as well as physical risks such as numbness in his feet. His commitment paid off as he completed the course on June 5, 2021, in seven hours and 20 minutes, generating $10,450 for the LymeLight Foundation.
“It was a physical and mental adventure, but worth every paddle taken,” says Jason, who accompanied Jeremy from one of two support boats, livestreaming the event to Last Bite’s social media network through the company’s Facebook page. “We get a tremendous amount of support and encouragement for these efforts,” he adds. “And while our primary goal is raising awareness around Lyme disease and the LymeLight Foundation, people also learn something about us: that we care about others and really push ourselves to make a difference. When they find out we offer the same level of care for our customers, they know that they can trust Last Bite Mosquito & Tick Control to deliver great service and solutions.” — Donna DeFranco