A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kickstarter campaign aimed at bringing Jarrett and his famed Joy Cart to big screen

By Megan Smiddie
KyForward intern

Jarrett’s Joy Cart, a legacy left by 13-year-old Jarrett Mynear that has inspired thousands of people across the country, may soon make its debut on the big screen.

Lexington’s Lucky Day Studios and Blitz Media are teaming up to produce a movie about Jarrett and his famed Joy Cart, which he created to provide toys and games to sick children even while he was battling cancer himself. Lucky Day’s Jeff Day and Blitz Media’s Chris Pugh are trying to fund the project through a Kickstarter campaign, with the goal of raising $75,000 of the $500,000 budget. The campaign kicked off Tuesday and will end on May 23.

“Kickstarter is such a great way for everyone to get involved in making this amazing story become a feature film,” said Day, director of The Joy Cart. “We wanted people who could only contribute $5, $25, or $100 or more to be able to be a part of this adventure.”

Day hopes that the campaign not only raises the funds to make the movie, but that it also creates a group of people who are interested in seeing it succeed.

“We will keep in close contact with those who make pledges to our Kickstarter campaign and hope that they will help create a buzz about the movie before it comes out,” said Day.

Jarrett was diagnosed with cancer when he was 2 years old and started Jarrett’s Joy Cart when he was 9. He died in 2002 at the age of 13.

His project, Jarrett’s Joy Cart, which started at Kentucky Children’s Hospital at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, turned into a national nonprofit organization that provides toys, games, crafts and other items to sick children in hospitals across the country. In addition to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the Joy Cart also operates in hospitals in Louisville and Orlando, Fla.

Jarrett’s story was also made into a book called The Joy Cart by Marvin Bartlett, a Lexington native and Fox 56 10 p.m. news anchor.

Day said that two years ago he and colleague Tom Lockridge were looking for an inspirational story to produce when they came across Jarrett’s story.

“When we met Jarrett’s family and read Marvin’s book, we knew we wanted to help spread Jarrett’s message of service to others,” said Day.

Day and Lockridge immediately began developing the script and worked with a major studio executive in Hollywood to make sure it was just right.

“We have and continue to work very closely with the Mynears on every aspect of the project,” Day said. “They have helped us with every step of the script development. They are producers on the film and have a say over the final script. There support is tantamount to this film.”

Day calls the movie “an inspirational story that will be a call to action.”

“Our biggest hope and dream for this movie is to inspire people who watch it to go out and do something good for someone else,” said Day. “It’s not about a young boy and his cancer; it’s about a young boy, mature well beyond his age, who learned early on that spreading joy to others is the best medicine for your own troubles and ills.”

Day added, “Like Jarrett always said, ‘nobody has to do anything as big as the Joy Cart, but everyone can do something to help other people.’”

Donations can be made here. People can also follow “The Joy Cart” movie on Facebook here.

Day said that after the Kickstarter campaign ends, his hope is to begin production in July and complete the shooting of the film in four to five weeks. It will then take another four to six months for editing until it’s ready for a preview screening.

“Jarrett was a Joy Cart to thousands of kids and their families and our deepest desire is to inspire people to be a ‘Joy Cart’ for someone else,” said Day.

You might also be interest in reading A caring child’s legacy continues 12 years after he started program to ease kids’ fears.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment