My wonderful friends – I thank you for your love, support, and most sincerely – your prayers. I am a very blessed man. I know that I am a person of value – not because of my accomplishments and certainly not because of my good looks :), but because I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people who have taken risks and chosen to believe in me. One in particular, to whom I just said goodbye.
On Tuesday night, the 6th of August, a light went out in my life as I said goodbye to a dear lady named Lu Wall. Lu and her husband John, along with another generous lady named Mary Mingenback, made it possible for me to go to school at Friends University. This opened the door to my friendship with Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Riney, Dr. David Weber and a host of other wonderful people.
When I graduated from college and decided to give my life to serving kids as opposed to pursuing a performing arts career, I was afraid that my benefactors would be disappointed in me. None of them ever were and Lu Wall especially encouraged and challenged me. She always reminded me by her acts of kindness and generosity that I was a person of value. She further reminded me that “if you fall, don’t hesitate to get up, never stop starting over.”
In some ways, I feel like I am starting over today but without her presence. I pay tribute to her and her family. I pay tribute to all of you. In this community we’ve done some great things over the last 40 years. It’s only been possible because of Lu and friends like you.