Annual Trek To Hope - 03/11/13

  I always struggle with my emotions this time of year.  I'm soooooo over winter.  Don't like it, don't want it, had enough of it.... bye bye cold and clouds.  But as I wait for the first signs of spring and new  life, I also prepare for an annual trek to meet babies, children, teenagers  who are also waiting for the very same thing---  the promise of new life.

    Tomorrow, will mark the 4th year in a row I've made the trip to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis in Mid March.  I have the amazing honor of  heading up Fox 17's St. Jude Dream Home Campaign.  You see, St. Jude is where the sickest of the sick go.  It's where children who've been given no other hope turn for a fighting chance.  I've seen local children like Ian and Matthew and Cooper and Ally and Vivian and Braden and Joel spring back when all seemed hopeless.  Thankfully, that list goes on and on because of  the miracle that is St. Jude.   I feel so honored and indebted to these sweet families who've opened up their hospital rooms, their lives, their troubled hearts to spread the good news of this amazing place.  They are our hopeful warriors.
   At the same time, there are those who've touched my life who will never graduate, or go on their first date or get married and have children of their own.  They are Ryan, Clinton, Robert.... and unfortunately that list also goes on and on.  But that is the reason I keep going back and it's the reason so many generous souls keep tirelessly supporting the Dream Home campaign.... because the battle isn't over.

   Yes, this time of year weighs heavy on my heart.  When you get right down to it, it's really not the clouds and cold at all---   Those elements simply mirror how I feel about this reemergence of memories, of hugs, of tears, of forever good byes.  And it never gets any easier.  The only thing that makes me feel better is to squeeze my own two children and kiss them and hug them until they turn blue...  Now that's good medicine.  Then, I thank God for their health and together we pray for the new children who come into our lives each year through this trek to St. Jude.
    The bags are packed.  Let this year's journey begin.....  a journey of more hope... more miracles... more new life....  and more blessings counted.




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Last Update on August 19, 2014 09:08 GMT


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Weed users can now learn how to become garden gurus. Atlantic City will host a grow your own marijuana seminar. The four-day course with a fee of $1,000 will be offered by a California-based marijuana school at Bally's Casino next weekend. While medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey, growing your own is not. Oaksterdam University chancellor Dale Jones told The Philadelphia Inquirer that basil will be used in demonstrations. The course will include talks on the business and legal sides of the marijuana industry. Jones said students who earn high scores will receive certifications that could lead to jobs.


ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) -- Police say witnesses heard a central Pennsylvania woman singing after she crashed into a parked car while driving drunk. Police say neighbors heard loud music coming from the car of 26-year-old Heidi Jo Clatterbaugh before she crashed about early Aug. 2. Two witnesses told police they saw her singing in the front seat of her car, with her feet propped up on the dash board. Police say Clatterbaugh ran away after witnesses took her car keys, but she was later found a short distance away. Court records show Clatterbaugh was charged with driving drunk on Aug. 2, three days after she waived her right to a preliminary hearing on drunken driving charges stemming from a June arrest. The Altoona Mirror reports the newest charges were filed just last week.


DALLAS (AP) -- Most car enthusiasts dream of cruising in a Ferrari or Porsche. But a Texas man has stepped up to buy three vintage trolleys. The Dallas Morning News reports that the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority has three turtleback trolleys, named after their shape, that were designed in the early 20th century. One of the trolleys, known as Car 323, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world with 13 windows. It was repurposed as a ticket office and gift shop in Abilene, Texas and returned to Dallas in the mid-1980s by the transit authority. Transit officials had planned on scrapping the three trolleys to use the land they were on for a maintenance barn. But Andy Nold, head of a preservation group called North Texas Historic Transportation, has offered $250 for each car, plus the cost to move them. The authority has tentatively accepted the offer.


SPRINGER, N.M. (AP) -- A new rehabiliation project finds New Mexico inmates horsing around. The New Mexico Department of Corrections has launched a program that lets prisoners without disciplinary problems help with rescued horses. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the program teaches inmates horsemanship skills, while the horses get daily attention and care. State Corrections Industries Director Anna Martinez says the inmates also learn accountability. Program director Billy Jones says rescued horses would be sold as ranch animals once they're nursed back to full health. The inmate horse rescue program got its legs from $75,000 approved by state lawmakers last year.

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