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Fore the Children

Ok, wow….can I just say "Go God!"

When you pray about something strongly and you get to see firsthand how God can use the hearts of many to come up with a solution, it is a wonderful thing.

The [url=http://www.hope4adelaine.org]Powell family[/url] is one that we have posted about often. They have become such special friends and we just love them so much. They have truly struggled with financial issues related to Adelaine's cancer and in the process they've lost both of their vehicles. So, this is a family of 5, two boys in school with different schedules, a husband with a job he needs to get to, a daughter with cancer who has various clinic visits and has been in and out of the hospital constantly since February. No car. They have been blessed with friends who have loaned them vehicles so that they could get to where they needed to get to, but this was never a fix to the base issue. No car.

A few weeks ago, I got my busy nose into the situation and started sending out emails. I sent emails to the newspapers and news stations, to different groups and foundations and even a few off to Oprah (you never know!). I got back a response from Mark and Dana Clements, a family who organizes [url=http://www.forethechildren.com]Fore the Children[/url] foundation. They have an annual golf tournament that benefits families in the Tampa area who are fighting pediatric cancers. Dana and Mark got a hold of me and let me know that they'd received my email and that they very much wanted to invite us to their upcoming golf tournament (today!) and to make sure that we got the Powell family there. They wanted to meet them and left it at that, I was hoping that something was going to be done through their work to help out the situation somehow. Whether money was donated towards the purchase of a vehicle, or one was provided, just something to help out our friends.

So we all went. Actually, all of us except for poor Rachael who's had a sore throat and and off/on again fever…..we left her with Grandma because we never know who might be there, what their counts are and can't take the chance of spreading something. We got to the tournament at the end of the golf playing, catching up with our sweet friend [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nikkihawkins]Nikki Hawins[/url] and her fantastic family and other friends from the [url=http://www.childrenscancercenter.org]Children's Cancer Center[/url]. When the golfers got in from their day of play, they served us a wonderful dinner and then they got down to business. The business of making a difference in people's lives. They had raffle items and live auction items, as well as a 50/50 drawing (this is where you buy a ticket and half the money goes to the organization and half goes into a pot that is won by the ticket holder). All proceeds of these went to the foundation so that they could make wonderful things happen for pediatric cancer families.

They gifted sweet Nikki with a puppy that she wanted so badly for her birthday. We have clinic with this little girl, we see her a lot and I've NEVER seen her with a smile like the one she wore tonight. I'd lay money on the probability that her face will hurt tomorrow from all the smiling she did. She named her cute little pomeranian puppy Faith, and I can honestly say that a puppy has never been that loved so quickly.

A family with a 5 year old daughter, who's been critically ill since birth, wanted to be able to attend a special conference to find answers to helping their little girl. All they wanted was a chance to go meet with doctors and surgeons who might be able to help their daughter some way. Fore The Children was able to announce that they would finance the entire trip for the family.

Dana got the mic and shared the email that I had written asking for help for the Powell family. Then they asked our families to come up so we could be introduced. When MOST of us got up there, they told us how touched they were by the request and by our friendship. Then they told us to look outside the window of the clubhouse. There was a beautiful car. A blue car. A car for the Powell family. Oh the tears just came!!! We were all so shocked and excited and stunned, it was an amazing moment. I say MOST of us went up to the front because poor Angela had been in the bathroom for most of the email-reading and she had just came out when she heard the end of the letter and the announcement that they had a new car!

It was wonderful. Maybe the most wonderful car I've ever seen. Not the most expensive or newest or coolest car in the world…..but that car was precious in my eyes. It was a straight answer to many prayers.

How cool is that??!!!

Oh, it gets even better.

They auctioned off a lot of very cool stuff, people dug deep into their generous pockets for this wonderful cause. With each item raffled or auctioned, I could just see the smile of the child and family who had some special need in their life met.

Peter and I were outside when they called out our names. We hadn't asked for anything, it was supposed to be a night special for our friends. We truly had no idea what was going on and when we got inside, they told us that a table of golfers had purchased the last auction item for a thousand dollars(!!!!!!) and donated it to our family. It is week long trip to Madeira Beach, with a beach-front condo for our use! Pools, beach, fishing..whatever! That was gifted to us. The men that donated that vacation were hugged soundly and we tried to express the gratitude that we felt but didn't know how to say.

We never wanted any repayment for just wanting to help our friends in any way we could…..all I did was send an email asking for help. But God blessed us in a mighty way through these compassionate people.

But wait! There's more!

The last raffle ticket of the night was for the 50/50 drawing….the gentleman who won got up and announced that somehow he KNEW he was going to win that money. His plan for the money was to donate that back between two of the families helped tonight…ours and the Powells. He gave all that money right back to us. Wow is completely inadequate, but WOW. When I thanked him, profusely, he just hugged me and told me it was going to be ok and that he would have us in his prayers. That was more meaningful than the money.

The Lord can just open our eyes to the awesome power He has, and the blessings that He can provide if we just put our faith in Him. We had a fantastic night, we met new friends and were showered with love and compassion. We got to see our friends receive love and blessings of their own, which made the night just that much richer. We got to see people reaching out and taking the time to share of themselves and shine a ray of love and hope in the lives of many touched by cancer.

It was just amazing. SOOO cool! I can't even think of anything better to say about it.

Thank you so much to Dana and Mark Clements, to [url=http://www.forethechildren.com]Fore the Children[/url]…all the volunteers who made the day possible, to all the people who came and gave and made the blessings happen…for each person who prayed for this event to be the resounding success that it was….it was a night we'll never forget and will cherish forever.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

ps…A lot of pictures will be posted later!

p.s.s…Extra cool news. One of the things they had going on was the [url=http://www.drivingfordonors.com]Driving for Donors[/url]. This child Pat has leukemia and when he found out a friend died because they couldn't find a matching marrow donor in time, his famiy took up this mission to drive cross country and host events to register new donors. They originally made a goal of 2007 new donor registrations in 2007, but they are well on their way to already meeting that goal and have set a new goal of 5000 new donors. Peter and I both registered tonight as bone marrow donors and I would ask that you search your heart and consider becoming one yourself. Although they need ALL donors, there is a special need for minority donors….so please consider becoming registered as a donor.

2 Comments on “Fore the Children”

  1. #1 Penny Hawkins
    on May 6th, 2007 at 11:35 am

    You guys deserve it! (I seen your comment on Nik's page! I will be bugging you for a DAY!) I also need to work on some pics of a couple of cute kids…. hmmm what was their names, Payton and Adeliene. I still want that shot of Nik and the girls….. Nik gets some chemo on Monday and probably recheck of counts – Wed or Thurs…. See you at the clinic, Penny

  2. #2 basi perkins
    on May 6th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I'm so excited to hear about what Fore the Children did for your family and the Powells. That to me is prayer in action. Prayer changes our hearts and it makes us instruments of God's will.

    I hope that you can use that beach condo in the near future. It's something to look forward to after this next round of chemo.

    love, basi