CHAPEL HILL – Saturday is the sixth anniversary of former UNC mascot Jason Ray’s passing. Jason was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in 2007.

“It does not get any easier. It feels like when I say he’s been gone six years, it feels like it’s been 60,” said Charlotte Ray, Jason’s mother.

Jason was traveling with the men’s basketball team at the NCAA Regional in New Jersey, when a car struck him as he was walking back from getting dinner. Jason died three days after the accident. Because Jason was an organ donor, the Ray family started the Jason Ray Foundation.

“What we tried to do was take something that was so bad and so terrible and try to make something good out of it,” Charlotte said.

If the group can raise a million dollars to increase awareness and aid organ donation, the UNC Center for Transplant Care Clinic will be named in Jason’s memory. The Foundation has raised $200,000 so far.

“He has really opened doors for people,” Charlotte said. “There are more people that have put their little red heart on their driver’s license to be donors. And so many people that I see will say, ‘Charlotte, I’m an organ donor now thanks to your son.’”

Coming up on Sunday, April 28, the Foundation is hosting the 2nd Annual “Ray of Hope Brunch.” Plates are $50 and the money will go to raising money for the Jason Ray Foundation. is where you can purchase a ticket to the brunch.

April is Organ Donation Awareness Month.