I would first like to thank all the amazing volunteers that came down and helped with the event. I am blessed to know so many wonderful people that wanted to be part of the event and worked hard to help make it a success.
There were so many wonderful moments it was hard to decide which ones to write about. I will pick a couple that were very special to me. It was great to see all the families that showed up dressed in costumes. I have always said that life is about making special memories and it was rewarding to see them make some great memories together.
For the first rewarding moment, I need to take you back to early March when the booster club at Thunder Ridge held a fundraiser for two families that were dealing with cancer. The booster club had heard of my Foundation and called me and wanted to donate a portion of the funds to the Foundation. When I went to pick up the check, I found out that for one of the families it was their three-year old daughter and for the other family it was their fifteen year-old son. This was heartbreaking to me. I also found out the father of the fifteen year-old boy was a good friend I have played basketball with.
The booster club had decided to donate $500 to the Foundation. To me, the choice was obvious where the funds needed to go. I told them what I wanted to do was to give each of those families $250. I also had a chance to donate some money to each of them later. My friend sent me a message thanking me for the donations. I told him I was happy to be able to help. On Tuesday before the event, my friend sent me a message saying that his son’s cancer is in remission and he’s doing good. “We want to come down and help you with the race,” he told me. “That would be great. You could help with the games for the kids,” I replied. When he got there, he told me his son wanted to get his picture taken with me. I told them it would be my honor to have my picture taken with him. I told the young man what an inspiration he is to me and so many other people. “You are a great example of what life is all about. Life is about being strong and never giving up. Your courage and strength is motivational to all of us.” I said. He is such an amazing young man and I was honored and grateful he wanted a picture with me.
One of the other memorable events happened when I turned around from the sign-up desk to see the young man and his parents from the Make-A-Wish photo shoot event I had the honor to drive for. The Mom and Dad were dressed up to run in the race. “We wanted to be part of this event and he really wanted to come down and say hello to you and thank you,” the Mom said. I was overcome with a feeling of humility and gratitude. I turned to the young man and said, “That makes me so happy. I admire your strength and I’m proud to be your friend. You are truly a Superhero to all of us!” I told him.
These are just two examples of the many wonderful memories I have from this year’s event. They are both an example of the rewards I receive from the Foundation that money cannot buy. I want to thank everyone who participated in this event and making it the huge success it was. I know my Angel Shannon is very thankful also. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.
Next Week: The Denver Trip
P.S. There were also two more of my very favorite things: A captive audience and a microphone.