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Dedicated to the Elenas of the world

sparkBB is dedicated in part to Elena Lhotka and all the Elenas of the world that depend on free forum hosting for their mission-critical forums. Below is Elena's tragic story, in her own words, followed by our binding pledge to keep your data secure.


Jason and I were married on a meadow in the mountains of Colorado on August 1st, 2002. Our son, Nicholas was born on September 19th, 2004.

Jason Lhotka and his mother, Sandra, went on a Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx) trip, "The Real Kilimanjaro". The trip started on September 22, 2007 and was to end on October 8, 2007. Jason died of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) on October 4, 2007 at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania. According to the autopsy, Jason also had High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) at the time of his death.

Jason left for his trip on September 19th, 2007-Nicholas' 3rd birthday. This was the last day we ever saw him.

As you can see from the speech given by Sheriff Stan Hilkey, Sgt. Jason Lhotka was considered a hero in our community. Jason was the Seargent of the Mesa County Street Crimes Unit. The realization that his child, Nicholas, would not remember his father was unbearable for all of us so we decided that we needed to do everything in our power to keep his memory alive. For this reason, even though our entire family was grieving we realized we needed to focus on gathering all the memories of Jason for his son and that timing was especially crucial. It was heart wrenching to think about this, but we knew that memories fade with time. We had a website created especially for Jason (www.jasonlhotka.com) and added a forum and begged our world to please add any and all memories they had of Jason so that we could create a memory book for Nicholas. It was so amazing to us to see how many people Jason touched and the wonderful memories people had. Reading all the stories made us adults very aware that our grief was also affecting our memories and we were so incredibly grateful that so many people were reminding us of the special times with Jason. We also realized that the stories people share with us about Jason, the ones we've never heard before, are the only way we'll EVER get to make 'new memories' of Jason. That was the joy we'd found in what people wrote. We were so very pleased that people were taking the time to add their memories to the forum. And then the most devastating thing happened--the forum crashed and lost all of the memories that had been added. The owners tried everything to retrieve the data, with no luck. At that time, the possibility of this happening did not cross my mind. If I had known of the instability I would have done anything and everything to ensure that our forum was stable and the data was being backed up. We attempted to get people to add their stories again--we had one person do so. The rest is gone. My child is now 4 years old. We talk about his daddy each and every day and I try with all my might to keep the memories that we have in our hearts and minds alive in my child's. I wished that I had more memories not only for Nicholas, but also for myself.

doc - funeral-speech.doc

-Elena Lhotka

Our binding pledge

It is no secret that we are a for-profit business. However, we are also caring human beings. It is our responsibility while managing your forum to keep it as secure as possible. Our pledge is to always make your forum's data available to you, in a format that you can use. We don't partake in shifty stunts like charging obscene amounts for backups, or secretly encoding backups to make them useless. Your data is just that, yours.

Elena's story, and the hundreds like it, serve as a constant reminder of our obligations to our members and their priceless data. We thank you for choosing our services so we can further our business, and we express our thanks by securing your rights to your data.