Our Mission

We established the Justin Paul Butler Memorial Education Foundation (JPBMEF) in memory of our son Justin who died in 2010 as a result of the “Choking Game”, one of many deadly pass-out activities commonly practiced among youth worldwide.  Many have died or have been injured as a result of participation in these activities.  JBPMEF’s mission is to conduct research and partner with educators to raise awareness, prevent injuries, and save lives by educating youth, parents, school administrators, teachers, first responders, emergency room physicians and nurses, and coroners on the dangers, warning signs, and physical indicators of the “Choking Game” and other deadly pass-out activities.

What is the “Choking Game”, what is the problem, and how is JPBMEF involved?

The “Choking Game” (TCG) or self-asphyxial risk taking behavior (SAB) is a potentially deadly activity that is performed to achieve a temporary sense of euphoria.  Following Justin’s death we conducted an extensive literature review, and found that about six percent of eighth-graders and 11.5 percent of eleventh-graders had played TCG.  Furthermore, about 40 percent of youth believe there are no associated risks of injury or death, highlighting the importance of and need for prevention education programs.  Our review also revealed that one third of surveyed physicians were unaware of TCG and its warning signs, perhaps leading to misidentification of injury, and lost opportunities to provide prevention education. Educators and health care professionals have expressed concern that teaching students about the dangers of TCG may increase interest and participation in this activity.

To address this lack of information and concerns we developed a study to determine if education results in increased awareness of the risks of injury and death when playing TCG, and if education decreases interest in TCG participation.  We received a research grant from the University of California, Davis Medical Center, which was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health.  After two years of work, including participation in an international conference on dangerous games, violence and bullying in Paris, France in October 2014, we completed a research paper entitled Impact of Education on School-Aged Children’s Knowledge of and Participation in “The Choking Game”.  Our paper was published in the international open access Research & Reviews: Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences, June 2016, Vol. 2, Issue 2.  We now intend to share our study with school administrators as evidence that standardized TCG education can be effective and is not risky, and with first responders, emergency room physicians and nurses, coroners and other health care professionals to raise their level of awareness.


Since 2013 proceeds from our annual golf tournament and fundraiser help offset our business and travel expenses to carry out and share our research and to partner with other educators, and funds an annual college scholarship to a student-athlete at Bear River High School near our home in Auburn, California.  We invite you to consider making us one of your annual charitable contributions, and are so grateful for your partnerships and contributions!

After reading our research paper, please visit Erik’s Cause at www.erikscause.org and Ed4Ed4All at ed4ed4all for detailed information and resources to raise awareness, prevent injuries, and save lives by stopping these deadly pass-out activities.

We are so grateful for your support and partnership, and have worked hard to be diligent stewards of your contributions.

Thank you and God bless,

Kendall and Eric Butler

This website and all of its related costs have been donated to help support the Justin Paul Butler Memorial Education Foundation.     ~Nina Boatman