So, the recipient reasonings turned out to be an interesting ride…
Our foundation has been a part of several journeys with families and friends, but we have never had one with so many turns! This year's theme is centered around veterans and first responders. We wanted to tell all of them, past and present, thank you for the freedoms and privilege that we are provided with their service! So, we wanted to pick a local veteran/military family to give our hand up to.
Mr. Uriel Sanchez, a veteran and Loveland firefighter, was nominated by my son, Jeremiah, who is also a Loveland firefighter. Before we could finalize our plan, help had already found him. Because he was already going to receive some assistance, he graciously turned down the gift and asked if we would please help someone else in our community!!!
What a hero! Uriel's selflessness is exactly the representation of who and what we’re honoring. That leads us to Cory and Lara Grounds.
Last year, Cory Grounds was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of cancer that can damage the bones, immune system, kidneys, and red blood cell count. Cory had been hospitalized since June of 2018. He fought very hard, but unfortunately passed away on December 26th, 2018. Although Cory was not a veteran, he was a warrior and we are going to be here for his wife on his behalf to honor his grit and determination to face cancer, war, or fires.
The next recipient is Mrs. Shirley Wertz. I’ve known Shirley longer than I can remember and when you think about a sense of community and commitment to getting things done, Shirley is the definition! A year ago, I had a horse related accident. My family and I were facing the looming uncertainty of what to do with major surgeries and not being able to work. Shirley Wertz was one of the first in line to organize an event to help us. Recently, she had her own health issue with hip replacement surgery and she's facing another one soon. My wife and I leaped at the opportunity to help!
I can't begin to thank everyone enough behind the scenes.
Stacey Clymer for standing beside this vision even when she's right and I don't listen! Love you babe!
John and Kim Banker for there love and support, as well as countless sponsors which without this would not happen!
Thank you all for being a part of this adventure!