It's been a while since our last blog post. We are halfway through the summer, and life continues to be very challenging. Mother's Day and Father's Day are incredibly hard when you've lost a child. Every day is filled with "wish" moments. We spent a great week away in Hilton Head with family and friends, but Luke's absence was glaring. We wish Luke was here. We wish Luke was here to see the new Incredibles movie. We wish Luke was here to march with the band in the 4th of July parade. We wish Luke was here. Period.
We are thrilled and thankful for the impact of the first year of the Luke Legacy Fund. There are 77 High School and Middle School Luke Legacy Fund recipients attending Young Life camp this summer. We awarded $27,000 in scholarships. We are already receiving photos and stories of how God has used these camp experiences to transform lives. Many of these kids would not have been able to attend camp without their Luke Legacy Fund scholarship. This was Luke's dream, to make camp accessible to all kids, so they could hear about Jesus and trust in Him the way Luke was able to do.
So many of you have been generous in donating in Luke's memory. We've been blown away by the size of the fund. Thank you. Our aim to is continue to grow the Luke Legacy Fund. We had to turn away several applicants for 2018, and we're expecting more for 2019. What if we could award 150 scholarships next year?
To that end, let me tell you a little bit about the 2018 Amazing Photo Challenge to raise money for the Luke Legacy Fund. When Luke was little one of his favorite and frequent babysitters was Kendra Hinkle. Kendra (now Patterson) is now married with kids and owns a business in downtown Mason. She had a vision to put together an event to honor Luke and to raise $ for the Luke Legacy Fund. The 2018 Amazing Photo Challenge will take place in Mason from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, 8.18.18. (Luke's "life" Bible verse is Romans 8:18).
Here's how it will work:
1) Teams will pick up their maps and instructions any time between 10:00 and 3:00 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds (700 East Ash Street in Mason). Participants will pay $5 per person, but of course people are free to donate more if they wish to do so. No registration is needed. Just show up, get your map and instructions, pay, and go! Teams can walk, bike, or drive from the Fairgrounds.
2) Teams will then attempt to complete as many of the "challenges" as they can. Challenges will include photos with your team at iconic places, as well as points awarded for visits to various Mason establishments. So far we have over 40 sponsor establishments in and around Mason who have agreed to participate. Some are offering incentive...for example, participants who stop at the Daily Scoop can order the "Luke flavor of the day" in addition to receiving their challenge points.
3) Once teams have completed their efforts, they will then return their maps to Michigan Barn Wood & Salvage, 352 West Columbia Street in Mason any time before 5:00 to tally their points. Winning team will win $500 cash prize!!
4) More details are available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/168041787240664/
5) Laura and I will be welcoming visitors at our home all day on 8.18.18, so we'd love to have you stop by! We will have drinks and snacks, perhaps a Ukulele performance by Jay, and also photos and stories from kids who attended camp in 2018 via the Luke Legacy Fund.
If you are unable to attend the Amazing Photo Challenge, you can always make donations to the Luke Legacy Fund any time by clicking here.
We are so grateful for all of you. It will mean so much for us to honor Luke on 8.18.18. It will mean even more to be present with all of you.
James & Lu,
(for Sam, Jay, & Luke)