This past weekend I got to be with my love (promise) and my family in beautiful Sonoma County California. I have an Aunt and Uncle who live in Windsor, CA and they’re both doing some really amazing things to give back to those on the fringes.
You see my Uncle Steve, who I only knew in my 1st year on this earth (if that counts for knowing him), lived his life with Down Syndrome. He died when he was 13 back in 1982. From the stories I’ve heard about this kid he was a RIOT! There was never a dull moment with Uncle Steve and he lived as happy as a kid could. It was cool to hear some of the stories about him from his siblings this weekend, truly just a joy to everyones lives!
Well, my Aunt Susie and her husband Barry have taken on a project in his honor and this year marked the 10th anniversary of the ‘Steve Wurzell Memorial Tennis Tournament: Benefiting the Sonoma County Special Olympics’.
My Aunt writes for the Business Journal in Sonoma County and I believe she is really using the platform she’s been given/worked hard for to work towards bringing a ray of hope to these people who live mentally, physically and emotionally challenged. Barry is also a lawyer in the area and is a huge support to what they’re doing.
The tennis tournament draws business leaders, corporations, wine industry types and, quite honestly, rich people to come out and give back. Friday they do a big tennis tournament that these folk compete in for some trophies and I’ll just say these people are pretty into winning a trophy. Later that night they do a HUGE event at a local winery called Rodney Strong. Each person buys a seat at dinner for some wild price and it’s a FANTASTIC night of honoring these amazing people who live their lives with some challenges.
ALL of the proceeds go back to COMPLETELY fund the Sonoma County Special Olympics. COMPLETELY FUND! anyways…I think that’s pretty amazing.
I was talking with my Aunt, yesterday, and she said that she set out 10 years ago with a vision to get funding for these kids, but, could have NEVER dreamed that they’d now be responsible for FULLY funding this program that for many of these kids is one of their only lifelines.
One of my favorite parts about the event on Friday night was that they brought out the Special Olympians in a procession complete with Police Escort, torch, t-shirts, medals and US (the FANS). As the brought them in my Aunt had something even more special arranged for them…A HELICOPTER FLYOVER from the sheriffs department. I mean she done did it and she did it good!!! it was amazing. they came in through the dinner tables, we high fived them and they went to the stage where they just got cheered for and loved on. My Aunt took the time to write something very unique about each of the Olympians and would make it very personal to EACH of the kids. It really was quite amazing and it made me proud to know that we run the same blood.
I have to be honest though…it’s got me thinking…what am i doing to contribute to the Kingdom of God? I really believe that what my Aunt is doing is Kingdom work. She spends her time, money and heart with these kids and their caretakers (not to mention she has 5 of her own kids) just pouring everything she has into this program for these kids.
here’s a link to an article written about the sonoma special olypmics:
What’s got you thinking and dreaming today, this week, this year? short or long term. sound off!
Here’s some pics from the weekend too: