Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Donations Made Today!

It is with humble appreciation to announce that I mailed out two checks today - to both CureSearch and First Descents for $10,393.78 EACH! We still have some pledges floating in, but we can send those in with the donations raised for the charity softball tournament in September. I truly can't believe the generosity, commitment and support of Nick's WACKY Warriors. We WILL make a difference!!!
Nick riding Shadow (our friend, Melanie, took Nick on a trail ride up at Middle Fork, Utah)

Nick has been working - yes, that's right - working in Moab for the past few weeks as a wrangler. Besides cleaning horse stalls, digging fence posts and other cowboy duties, he has been working with a 5-year old horse named Toby. Toby hasn't been ridden much so Nick is learning how to work with him to be a trail horse. They are both getting an educational experience.

Before he left, I captured an amazing event in Nick's life... he did his own laundry! I was speechless, thrilled beyond words, a monumental maternal moment that my son was indeed independent. After he left, however, my euphoria immediately deflated when I went into his bedroom, wanting to suprise him by changing his bedding. To my dismay, I found dirty dishes, dirty cups, tissues, toothpicks, heaps of dirty clothes, heaps of clean clothes (what in the world was left to wear in Moab? Is he now the naked cowboy?), 37 shoes, 5 belts, receipts, school books... and that was only 2 feet inside his room. I cried. Then I cursed. Its a good thing he is still in Moab.

He will update when he returns. He has some fun summer trips coming up and we are so very, very grateful he is feeling good.

Please pray for a couple of very sweet spirits I have been following:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elliepotvin and http://www.carepages.com/carepages/DavidBuckUpdates/updates/

They, and others, are our reasons to keep fighting!

Love to all,


Monday, June 7, 2010

We'll miss you, Coach Wooden

Way back in 1996, Lee Brower co-founded the Utah Tip Off Club as a way to honor Utah's prep players, coaches and referees. To promote the event, Lee invited Coach John Wooden to participate by simultaneously awarding the national NCAA basketball coach of the year, the "John & Nellie Wooden Award". This annual event involved many hours by those in our office, especially Lee's oldest daughter, Melody. We worked countless hours tallying votes, making travel arrangements for the winners, working with the press and organizing every detail of the actual event itself.

Working with Coach Wooden and his daughter, Nan, for over six years was a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Everything you have read about Coach recently is true. He is by far the most humble, gracious, kind, man-of-his-word, gentleman I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Each year, he gave a speech that was humorous, poetry-filled, accurate and relevant. Each year, his body moved a little slower, but the gleam in his eyes never dimmed.

Working with Coach also allowed me to include Nick in the activities. On one occasion, Nick had the opportunity to go with me to pick up Coach and his family at the airport - executive terminal, of course - in a stretch limousine. Nick was only 10-years old at the time and his eyes were big as saucers sitting in the big back seat. He really didn't seem to know why there was such a fuss over this older man - looked like a regular grandpa to him. Coach Wooden came straight over to Nick, shook his hand and the first thing he asked Nick was if he was getting good grades in school. His second question was if he played basketball. Nick shyly nodded his head to both. I kept whispering to Nick, "remember this moment, remember this moment." He began to realize something big was up when we escorted Coach and his family to a private room in the hotel, where an informal interview was set up with a few of our local reporters. Many photos were taken, many basketballs were signed - all with a warm smile by Coach.

Lee and I became close friends with Coach and our last visit to his condo a few years ago was incredible. One moment included Coach showing us his new children's book, Inch and Miles. It is a beautifully illustrated book, based upon his "Pyramid of Success" principles, written in terms that children can understand. He had just received the original drawing from the illustrator earlier in the day. She had sent him page 12 from the book, because she knew it would be his favorite. He smiled as he showed it to us and we knew instantly why: on the drawing of the tree, she had inscribed "Nellie + JW" enclosed by a heart. His love for his beloved Nellie grew stronger every day, although she had passed over 20 years ago.

We purchased 100 books and have used them on numerous occasions. We have hosted a team-building meeting for both Carly & Kelsey's softball teams and gave each girl a book. Very powerful and impactful, yet had nothing to do with softball directly.

Coach Wooden was an extraordinary man, mentor and friend. We learned much from him. Although he lived a spiritually gifted life and is finally with his sweetheart, Nellie, we will miss him dearly and thank God that Coach found his way into our lives. He is the epitome of the rock that makes a ripple - ripples that will reach many more generations to come.