I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the past three months and where my life is now leading.
As I take a mental tour of what has transpired I can't help but feel immense gratitude toward everyone for the outpouring that came flooding in after the accident.
Did you know that not a single fundraiser was planned or executed by me? Or my family. (YET!) I have had nothing to do with any of them other than to show up in support of the efforts of all of you. I'm overcome with gratitude and I'm so proud to be a part of this community. I must admit I consider myself a helper but not an organizer of a fundraiser! I really don't think it would have crossed my mind to undertake such a project but I do know I would help. Now I'm rethinking things. I'd like to do something yearly on behalf of my son. I've got my thinking cap on but maybe you could help me brainstorm.
Here are the most important criteria to me... Maybe we can think this thru together BUT I need to take the lead on it OK? I have to be the one in charge to honor my son in the one yearly event we put together although I will need a crew to help me pull it off.
1. Chris loved football, most specifically SHEN football although his favorite NFL team was the Philadelphia Eagles and he planned to play for the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons.
2. Chris was a socialite, talked with anyone from child to adult
3. Chris loved to be out and about rather than at home. He loved parties, vacations, amusement parks, sporting events and restaurants.
4. Chris was very considerate, helpful, kind and funny
So... How do I wrap those traits into a once a year fundraiser on my sons behalf with the proceeds going toward the maintenance of his scholarship fund? You've helped me with so many other things why not have you participate on this project with me? All I need right now is the clarity of your brain as mine tends to be fuzzy.
This is my initial idea, feel free to expand upon it or give me something totally new, I'm considering this to be a round table discussion...
I suggest we have a "Meet and Greet" at the very beginning of the SHEN football season. I think there are many people who would like a minute to meet the players, coaches, cheerleaders and staff who put the season in play. I believe there are community members, young players and school supporters who would come out on a Saturday to actually meet and talk in person with one another.
I feel as though the varsity players and cheerleaders would be more than happy to say hello in person. I believe it would make for a more personal season and the community would enjoy the games more once they've gotten to know the personalities of the team. Creates a warm and fuzzy feeling don't you think?
I mean, most times people don't get too close to the players due to the distance away on the field, not to mention the players don't linger before or after. They go from the locker room right out beyond the fence and all that most people see is a number. There were kids on Chris' team I barely knew. I feel there's room for improvement there. I barely knew the cheerleaders either. I think they would enjoy the opportunity to talk about themselves, their future plans and the love of their sport.
So anyway, the rest of my fundraiser idea is pretty lackluster. I don't know if people would pay an entry fee for this kind of thing, if it should just be on a donation basis or what else should happen at the event.
My initial idea was to have it on a Saturday from like 10am-1pm so as not to take up everyone's day. Three hours of mingling with the players and coaches should give everyone time to say hello. I thought maybe we could have some silent auction raffle baskets with donations of things like rounds of golf, carwash coupons, Great Escape tickets and restaurants vouchers. All the things Chris liked that everyone else does too!
What do you think? Is this something you would attend? Bring your kids to? And what would be a reasonable admission? Or should it be on a donation basis? I have so many questions! I told you I don't typically lead this kind of thing. This is the stuff my mind has been twirling around. I'd love your opinion.
Chris was everybody's son, brother and/or friend. We might as well honor him together and do it once a year in a manner befitting him and I know it must revolve around football because that's just a part of his fabric! :-)
Thanks for your thoughts and thank you for reading.