My 2016 Lesson In Courage And Grace – The ALS Jeep Raffle Wrap …
December 5, 2016 - als
Last night, over dinner, a dear crony asked me about a finish of a 2016 Jeep Raffle that we sponsored to lift income for my sister-in-law, Vicki, who has been battling ALS given Aug 2014. It occurred to me, as we recounted a thespian finale to a raffle over cooking — and a fact that Vicki is still with us, still fighting, still filled with adore and wish — what a absolute story my Jeep Raffle stays and how it bears repeating this holiday season.
It was late Dec 2015 when we done my thespian New Year’s resolution to raffle off my dear 2010 Mango Tango Jeep Wrangler to lift supports for my even some-more dear sister-in-law pang a physical, emotional, and financial ravages of Amyotrophic parallel sclerosis (ALS).
I’m not one to make a New Year’s resolution, generally on amicable media. But once we had committed, we schooled usually how absolute a open fortitude can be.
The present groundswell of support was strenuous as so many people got behind a Raffle immediately — from friends, amicable media acquaintances (court reporters from seashore to coast) and finish strangers like Jim Moyer from Fields Jeep in Glenview, Illinois.
Not usually did hundreds attend by purchasing $100 tickets, though they widespread a word all over amicable media, reaching folks in states as distant divided as Alaska!
Alaska? Yes, Alaska.
When Bill Brown, an Alaskan brush pilot, purchased a ticket, we responded instantly, vouchsafing him know he was GU — geographically undesirable! But Bill didn’t wish to be released from assisting Vicki over something as “insignificant” as a zip code. So we sole him his ticket, giving small care to his contingency of winning and even reduction care to a logistics of delivering Mango Tango to Alaska. After all, there were to be, we hoped, 499 other participants, any of whom could win.
Online sheet sales remained solid for months, augmenting as a Raffle neared completion. But we was still miles divided from my settled idea of lifting $50,000.
Days before a finish of a Raffle, trailing my idea by about $17,000, we was contacted by a rockstar who affianced that no matter what series we reached during a tighten of sheet sales, s/he would tighten a opening with a singular check and wished conjunction to be named as a champion nor accept a homogeneous in sheet entries.
In a final hours of a raffle, sheet sales surged as people threw down hurdles to others to buy tickets, in some cases mixed tickets, in an bid to assistance me strech my goal. But we knew no matter what, with my benefactor’s assistance, a Jeep raffle was going to be a success!
As we watched a final countdown of a Jeep Raffle on my website, we satisfied that this was no longer my New Year’s resolution. It spin everyone’s resolution: To make a universe a improved place by acts of selflessness by assisting a lady who many of a participants did not even know, a lady fighting a horrific disease, a wife, a mother, a sister, a sister-in-law, a daughter, a daughter-in-law.
And afterwards that brush commander from Alaska shows adult again, purchasing 5 some-more tickets. we emailed him to demonstrate my gratitude…
“What are you, nuts? FIVE MORE TICKETS?”
While we have so many stories of a unselfish giving exhibited via a whole four-month Jeep Raffle, it was a leader — yes, Bill Brown, a brush commander from Alaska — along with a unknown benefactor, who took my small Jeep Raffle and incited it into a inspirational story of tellurian goodness that we can all lift in a hearts this holiday season.
Bill Brown refused to take possession of Mango Tango. Bill usually wanted to assistance me comprehend my idea of lifting income for Vicki. As a long-time Jeep owners himself, it was his enterprise for me to keep Mango Tango.
We argued, Bill and I. we had done a resolution, a promise, if we will.
Promises competence fit a friends, though neglect will spin them into enemies. -Ben Franklin
I knew in my heart we couldn’t accept Bill’s inexhaustible offer to keep Mango, genuine as it was.
In a impulse that Bill offering me to keep Mango Tango, we had an epiphany.
The raffle had bestowed on me a present some-more profitable than a Jeep itself. In four-and-a-half months, we had a good good happening of witnessing wide-scale tellurian kindness, feeling a energy of vouchsafing go of a thing we adore for someone we love, and watching a junction powers of amicable media for a advantage of someone in good need.
But it seemed a leader of a raffle had one some-more knowledge in store for me: To bear declare to a contagiousness of generosity.
Bill and Kaylene Brown (along with a whole Brown clan) of Anchorage, Alaska motionless to present Mango Tango to my niece Molly who has shown courage, strength and resilience in a face of her mother’s conflict with ALS, by completing her home propagandize preparation alone, a year before her peers, and apropos a National Merit Finalist, earning her a full-ride grant to Oklahoma University.
Days before Molly’s high propagandize graduation in May of 2016, Bill and Kaylene astounded Molly with Mango Tango. And in August, Molly and Mango headed off to Norman, Oklahoma, where a new section has begun for her.
At home in Pantego, Texas, Vicki’s conflict with ALS continues. But she has been means to sojourn during home, cared for by her amatory father (my hermit Ron), her extraordinary church family and friends, and all a gifted caregivers, a cost of that has been equivalent by everybody who participated in a Jeep raffle.
As another year draws to a close, New Year’s resolutions are commencement to percolate.
I consternation to myself, whose life competence we hold with a confidant 2017 promise?