Last week I wrote about how and why I like Our Town. This week I like it even better. Why? It’s the people. Isn’t it always about the people? Saturday morning, July 28, I joined family, friends, and strangers to walk in the BryceStrong 5K Silent Auction. This event was organized to help Bryce’s family with surmounting medical bills, and Conner’s family, because people in Our Town understand that injury isn’t always physical or visible.
I first noticed the gray t-shirts: BryceStrong (Gilliland) in orange letters on the front, and ConnerStrong (Polenz) on the back: two high school boys recovering from an automobile accident. Both required to grow up far too soon, and both needing compassion and support.
The early morning participation was impressive. It was heartwarming to see everyone who showed up: walkers, runners, volunteers. The 3.1-mile route, on a beautiful Colorado morning, gave purpose to the young and less young who visited and laughed as friends.
Then, there was the tent, set up by volunteers in the early morning, overflowing with donated auction items. I’ve been to many silent auctions supporting extremely worthwhile causes, but I have never seen such voluminous, high-quality options. It was a display of exemplary businesses and individuals coming together for a universal, compassionate goal. Our Town came along and did the right thing, again.
Getting home, I collapsed in my recliner with a grateful smile and turned on the TV to a documentary honoring Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister to JFK) for her lifelong passion to the Special Olympics, motto of which is: ”Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Inspired by love for her sister Rosemary, who was mentally disabled and lived most of her life in an institution, Eunice promoted equality and inclusion for everyone and was instrumental in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Before noon on Saturday I was filled with the power of compassion, and the saying, “Never underestimate the power of one.” The joy was spurred in the early morning by the people of Our Town who gathered for the benefit of others. The value of human kindness was confirmed when I pushed the remote power button to see the international humanitarian work of Eunice Shriver.
Although our participation in the BryceStrong 5K Silent Auction might not be as grandiose as Founding the Special Olympics, many individuals in Our Town donated time, talent, and resources in the same authentic, respectful spirit.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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