Red Cross recognizes contributions of “low key” guy
Cape Cod native E.J. Jaxtimer has built a successful custom home building, millwork and landscaping business based on hard work and determination.
He’s applied that same can-do attitude to lending a helping hand to numerous charities.
“I’m just happy I can do something good for people,” he said. “If we can make a difference in people’s lives that is what it’s all about.”
Jaxtimer, 57, of Osterville will be honored as a community service hero at the 11th annual Cape Cod and Islands Heroes Breakfast on April 4. Every year the American Red Cross Cape Cod and Islands Chapter in Hyannis recognizes ordinary citizens throughout the community who have performed extraordinary acts of courage by saving someone’s life, helping in the rescue of someone in need or who have committed countless hours of services to an organization in the community.
“E.J. Jaxtimer is the perfect example of how a successful business man can make a difference for those in need,” said Hilary Greene, executive director of the Hyannis chapter. “He’s a hero to many people for his selfless work.”
Jaxtimer is gratified by the honor but that’s not what motivates him.
“I’m pretty low key. I try to stay off the radar screen,” he said. “I don’t do it for recognition. I like helping people.”
Over the decades Jaxtimer has shared his success in a variety of ways to benefit the community and has demonstrated a keen ability to respond when he sees a need. One day last year when Jaxtimer was working on his company’s website, someone mentioned how useful iPads would be for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He immediately wrote a check to buy one for Cape Abilities and put out a challenge for friends and colleagues to do the same.
“We are shooting for a dozen,” he said.
The avid saltwater fisherman has turned his favorite hobby into a vehicle for raising money for several nonprofit agencies. Jaxtimer started the Joe Cronin Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Tournament. The fishing tournament is the largest private, one-day fundraiser for the fund, which benefits adults and children at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Over the past 19 years it has raised a staggering $3.9 million for the Jimmy Fund.
Jaxtimer also organized fishing tournaments for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Barnstable Youth Hockey. He serves on the board of the Genesis Fund, which benefits children and their families affected by birth defects, genetic disorders and intellectual disabilities, and he created a one-day fishing tournament as part of their Cape Cod Fall Classic. He fishes in each of the tournaments.
Jaxtimer has also has given countless hours and thousands of dollars in support of the new Hyannis Youth Community Center ice rink, the Barnstable Youth Hockey program and the Cape Cod and Islands Special Olympics.
What drives his altruism?
“God’s been good to me and the community’s been good to me. I’ve been successful. It’s important to give back.”
Jaxtimer, 57, was born and raised in Centerville. Although he dropped out of high school, Jaxtimer describes himself as a “very motivated individual.” He went to Cape Cod Community College at night to earn his GED. He learned the building trade working construction for a mason and a framer. He started his home construction business in Hyannis 34 years ago. E.J. Builder, Inc. has expanded into a millwork and landscaping company.
“I have built a business that I am very proud of,” Jaxtimer said on his company’s website. “I still feel the excitement as I head off to my office every morning.”
The CEO regards the people he’s met doing business over the years – customers, architects, suppliers, tradesmen and employees – as his neighbors and friends.
Jaxtimer and his wife, Terry, moved to Osterville 20 years ago.
“It’s a great village to bring up our family,” he said.
The couple and their three sons, ages 16 to 22, reside in a rambling Cape Cod-style home Jaxtimer built. His family is involved in his business as well as his charity projects.
“We want to teach our children that it’s important to give back,” he said.
The Cape Cod and Islands Heroes Breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. April 4 at the Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis, 35 Scudder Ave. Tickets are $30. For more information contact the American Red Cross Cape Cod and Islands Chapter at 508-775-1540 or visit www.redcross.org/ma/hyannis.