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In Good Company

I know…it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. I’m fascinated by how fast time goes by. Maybe because we are always on the fly, or, as I often say, “I’m flying by the seat of my pants.”

I know…it sounds redundant. Not the first time I’ve begged forgiveness for letting so much time go by. I do sound like a broken record. Apologies. Again.

Did I ever that I said this to Jack and Max many years ago? Their response? “What’s a record?” Seriously?

Anyway, we truly had lots going on. Mostly good, one not-so-good. If you’ve got the time, read on. You might want to grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine. This my friends, is a long one.

On October 8th we had the pleasure of attending We Day Minnesota, an event that some call the Super Bowl for Service, which was held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was a star-studded production that was only the second of its kind to beheld in the U.S. We Day is a program created and hosted by Free The Children, an international and educational organization founded by global activist Craig Kielburger and joined later by his brother Marc.

We Day is a youth empowerment event that has rewarded 1.7 million young people across North America and the UK for their efforts in domestic and global service. Tickets cannot be purchased, they can only be earned. Schools (including the boys’ school – Benilde-St. Margaret’s) from Minnesota and beyond were in attendance at this high-energy inspiring event.

We were there because Jack was honored as the “local hero,” a title that he humbly but gratefully accepted. Joining him onstage when he addressed over 18,000 screaming students were several Minnesota Vikings. Jack’s role was to recognize the audience for their involvement in volunteer activities while he thanked and praised everyone for their support over the last 21-plus months.

Jack was in the good company of inspiring speakers and performers, many of whom you’ve heard of– Mia Farrow, Martin Luther King III, the Jonas Brothers, The Tenors, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dessa, Barbara Pierce Bush, Governor Mark Dayton and Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, the Kenyan Boys Choir, to name a few. There were others who you should hear about – Hannah Alper, a 10-year-old youth speaker, Molly Burke, a visually impaired motivational speaker, and Spencer West, the double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair. There were many others, both famous and not, whose stories moved the crowd to tears, laughter, sometimes silence and many times deafening cheers and applause.

Speaking of events at the X, Mike and I had the pleasure of being the guests of our dear friends Sam (Shari) and Bob who invited us to join them as Elite VIP’s at a recent Minnesota Wild game. Oh. My. Gosh!!! The RED CARPET (yes, I mean that to be in caps) was rolled out like you wouldn’t BEL13VE! We had a wonderful dinner at the Headwaters Restaurant, a quick photo session in front of the Wild’s locker room followed by watching the team exit the locker room and hit the ice. We were then ushered to the VIP lounge before the game, and then….drum roll please…we were escorted to the BEST seats in the house. We sat between both team benches. It was like we were a part of the Wild and the Dallas North Stars. No joke. That close!! A huge thanks to our hosts – the Wild and our friends – for such a fun evening. And all for a fabulous cause. Bob won the tickets in the auction at our first Bel13ve in Miracles Gala.

Prior to the two previously mentioned events, I had the honor of speaking to the Mount Olive Church Women at their annual fall dinner. Fortunately for me, they were a very warm and welcoming crowd. And a rather large one too! I had the privilege of sharing my story about how we navigated through Jacks injury and how this journey has changed our lives. I was in the good company of wonderful women, some who shared their stories with me, and all who took the time to listen to mine.

Lastly, mysister-in-law – Mike’s sister Joan – unexpectedly lost her husband to what we believe was a heart attack on Monday, October 7th. Although it appeared to be quick and peaceful, his passing is heartbreaking to everyone who had the pure pleasure of knowing Mark. He was in the good company of a loving family and loyal friends here on Earth, and is now in the good company of those he joined in Heaven. None-the-less, a difficult time for all.

Please keep Joan and her family in your thoughts and prayers. That way, they’ll be in the comfort of good company as they begin to heal from this incredible loss.

As always, we’re grateful for your continued support.