Running Falmouth for Jeff

Melissa Katon will honor her brother's memory by returning to her childhood home on Cape Cod to run the Falmouth Road Race on August 11, 2013. She is striving to raise $3,000 for The Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation, which provides annual scholarship opportunities to the youth of the Hilton Head Island community that Jeff called home.

Melissa Katon will honor her brother’s memory by returning to Cape Cod to run the Falmouth Road Race on August 11, 2013. Melissa is striving to raise $3,000 for The Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation, which provides annual scholarship opportunities to the youth of the Hilton Head Island community that Jeff called home.

FALMOUTH, MA – It will be a homecoming filled with memories when Melissa Katon returns to Cape Cod next month to run the 2013 Falmouth Road Race.

Melissa is striving to raise $3,000 on behalf of the Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation to honor the memory of her brother Jeffrey Paul Katon, who died in a car accident on Hilton Head Island in August 2006.

In what was once a family tradition, Melissa had last planned to run the Falmouth Road Race seven years ago, when on the morning before the event she withdrew after learning of her brothers passing.

Prior to moving to Hilton Head, Jeff Katon was a summer resident of Falmouth from 1989-1995 and had run the iconic road race several times while working at the former Lawrence’s Restaurant and Coonamessett Inn of Falmouth.

On Hilton Head Island, Jeff was former General Manager of Charley’s Crab Restaurant before opening Aqua Grille and Lounge.

The Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation was created to celebrate Jeff’s life and provide annual scholarship opportunities to the youth of the Hilton Head Island community that he called home.

Friends and family have continued to honor Jeff’s memory by selecting new scholarship recipients each spring who best exhibit his qualities of generosity and friendship.

Since 2007 the Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation has awarded $24,000 to graduating Beaufort County high school students to help them pay for college.

The foundation is proud to honor Jeff’s memory by supporting the academic careers of Lauren Stickles, Emily Natoli, Madison Howell, Jacob George, Justin Shaw and Britnee Kratochvil.

Friends of the foundation will remember a series of fundraising events held annually on Hilton Head Island from September 2007 – 2010.

Activities included a visit to Santa Fe Cafe, cheering on Jeff’s beloved Boston Red Sox on the big screen at Wild Wings Cafe, a Memorial Golf Tournament on Hilton Head Island and a black-tie dinner at Jeff’s restaurant, Aqua Grille and Lounge.

Fundraising components included a silent auction of sports memorabilia and a generous supply of community donations integrated into the weekend activities to help raise money for the foundation.

In late 2010 Aqua Grille and Lounge fell victim to the recession and was closed. Without a host site for fundraising, organizers have had to get creative about how to raise funds to replenish the scholarship pool.

The anniversary weekend has provided Melissa with the inspiration to return to Falmouth and run the race in Jeff’s memory.

The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has grown to become one of the premier running events of the summer season. The race draws an international field of Olympians, elite and recreational runners who follow a 7-mile seaside course from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.

To assist with Melissa’s fundraising effort please donate on-line at, once there select the Jeff Katon Scholarship Fund. 

Supporters can also mail a check or money order to Melissa Katon, 380 Marshland Road, Unit #F-27, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29926. (*Please signify Tax ID #14-2010315)

The Jeff Katon Scholarship Foundation was established as a charitable fund in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a local nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All contributions to the Jeff Katon Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry are fully tax deductible as allowable by law.

For more information, please contact Melissa Katon at (617) 543-1816 or visit our website


A letter to Jeff on his 39th Birthday

When I close my eyes I can see you smile. I can hear you laugh. We can play golf together.
It was seven years ago today that I arrived on Hilton Head to open Aqua.
You and Aaron had played golf at Belfair and were watching March Madness waiting for me to drive in from Adam’s sister’s house outside of D.C.
I remember showing up to your condo in Palmetto Dunes, hoisting a beer, then heading out the door for dinner at Red Fish and popping corks on a bottle of Cakebread at Santa Fe Cafe before watching a movie and crashing much too late.
Of course we had no way of knowing it then, but it would be your last birthday and to Mom, Dad, Missy, Mark & I you’ll always be 32.
After your car accident, Missy moved to Hilton Head to help me run the restaurant and I’m happy to say is still here. She and I went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade together on Sunday and were thinking of you.
We had lunch at Mellow Mushroom in Park Plaza and watched Sarah, Amanda and Karla march with the Girl Scouts. Both of us were wishing Mark was here.
He and Miss are living outside of Vancouver now and would you believe have four incredible kids – Alexis, Hannah, Connor and Braden.
Twelve of us went to Disney World this past fall and had lots of laughs. I would pay good money for video of Mark, Missy and I on the Tea Cups or for the chance for you to have joined us on our tour of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
As we’ve talked about before, Mom and Dad moved here in Spring 2009 and are living about 15 minutes away from me in Bluffton.
Sarah just turned 11. She rocked at basketball this winter and is ready for spring soccer to begin. Amanda is about to turn 10, still loves gymnastics and talks about you all the time.
Wish you were here to see how big they’ve gotten and to school me in golf. I still play from time to time, but it’s just not the same without your trash talking.
Please do me a favor and reach down and give Mark a hug for me today. I miss you always. 
Love, Chris