What else can I say but “Thank You!!” Thank you to all that came out this Saturday for the second annual Lindsay M. Benton Volleyball and Corn Hole Tournament and helping us celebrate what would have been Lindsay’s 20th birthday. What an amazing group of volunteers that gave up their Saturday to come out to help and to support the tournament. Thank you to Captn’ Bill’s Backyard Grill and the amazing staff that took such great care of us and each and every person that walked through the gate. Thank you to each person that took the time to come out and play volleyball, corn hole and to purchase raffle tickets for such a great cause. The turnout this year was not what we had last year, but it was expected. We knew, because of the continued clean up, repairs, and heartbreaking loss of property due to hurricane Florence, the attendance would be down. We could not let this get our spirits down and we “as a foundation” pledged to enjoy the day, enjoy all that were in attendance and without mention, enjoy remembering our Lindsay Lou. The most memorable part of the day, by far, was the young man that won the bike during the raffle. When he realized he had won he went straight up to the bike, confirmed his name on the ticket and rode that bike right out of the door and all around the Captn’ Bill’s volleyball complex. To see the joy in this young man’s heart is a big part of what this day was about. I had to go outside and stop this young man and tell how happy I was for him. No matter the turn out, the day was a success. We raised over half of the amount that we raised last year, we met some wonderful people, we laughed, and we remembered a beautiful young lady, that just happens to be my daughter.
Lindsay Lou, this was not a Tiffany’s, princess, or Barbie themed party like the ones you had in the past, but this party was for you. Happy birthday Sweetie, I miss you more than my heart can take sometimes. The gifts you received this year did not come in a nicely wrapped box with a beautiful bow, what you received were gifts of hope. Hope that a cancer patient will live to see another day and possibly celebrate their birthday one more time. The gift that a young person with special needs will have a fun filled day of activities and feel a sense of worth. The gift of life to someone that is on a long waiting list for a life saving transplant. The gift of knowledge for a student that will follow your dreams of being in the medical field. The gift of freedom to a art student to share their visions with the world. The gift of security that the cheer squad that you loved so much can do more, go more, and have more. A special gift you received this year will go to an outstanding organization, Samaritan’s Purse, as they help bring hope to the many people effected by hurricane Florence. The gifts that were given, maybe not to you, but through you will bring hope, value, life, knowledge, freedom, security, and a peace of mind that all is not lost. Gifts that were given from the heart with an unspoken love.
As I was scrolling through one of the many social media pages today looking at all the pictures and comments of the tournament I came across a post that truly captured what this is all about. A hymn written 145 years ago by a man that had lost almost everything. He lost his children to disease and a ship wreck. He lost his home, his business and his fortune to fire, but yet he still had faith, he still had the security of knowing no matter what stumbling blocks are placed in your path, no matter how much pain is in your heart, there is always hope.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul”
Happy Birthday Lindsay girl, hope you were watching and I hope you were smiling.