Friday, August 29, 2008

Lyco gets a new coach...

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Erica Brown has been named the head women’s lacrosse coach at Lycoming College, as announced by Scott Kennell, the College’s director of athletics. Brown played Division I lacrosse and served as a graduate assistant coach at Lock Haven from 2005-07.

“We’re pleased that Erica will be joining our staff,” said Kennell. “She has a great deal of experience having played and coached at high levels of the sport. We look forward to her continuing the excellence the women’s program has established here at Lycoming in recent years.”

Brown spent the last year working as a customer service specialist at Villanova University.

Prior to her employment at Villanova, she served two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at nearby Lock Haven University, working with the Division II Lady Eagles’ lacrosse program.

While at Lock Haven, she assisted the coaching staff with all areas of running the program, including recruiting, gameday preparation, conditioning, academic monitoring and fund-raising. The Lady Eagles posted a combined record of 33-6 in her two years on the staff, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2007. That same year, Brown coached the Division II Midfielder of the Year, two first team All-Americans, two second team All-Americans and two All-NCAA Tournament players. In her two years at Lock Haven, she coached a total of seven All-Americans.

She played lacrosse at Wagner University. A standout goalkeeper, Brown still ranks second all-time in Wagner history in career minutes played, career saves and career goals against average. She also holds the record for minutes played in a season and ranks second in saves in a season. A co-captain of the team in her senior year, she was ranked on as one of the top-12 goalies in all of Division I.

Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and administration from Wagner in 2005 and is working toward a masters degree in liberal arts at Lock Haven. She is certified as a lacrosse referee by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and U.S. Lacrosse.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Alex goes back to school

Well Saturday Michael and I took Alex back to school to begin her Junior year. Yes only 2 years to go... It was certainly sad to see her go as it was really nice having her home for the summer. Now that she's gone it is just the boys and I again. Last year was a tough one for sure but we are hoping that the coming year brings us a little more patience with one another as we all try to do as best as we can in school, sports and our jobs!

While we were at the school we went over and took a first hand look at the memorial brick that was place in honor of Chris by the Lycoming lacrosse team last year. It was a wonderful sentiment and was just wonderful to see her name on there. In fact her brick is only about 75 yards away from Alex's dorm room (3rd floor AGAIN!). So she's being well looked after.

Michael and I said our goodbyes and then we went over to watch some of the Little League World Series. We caught the US championship game and it was really fun to watch. There were 24,000 people there and most were in the outfield with us! We got home later in the evening and then just crashed. Tyler went with his grandfather to help Joey work on his house that he recently bought and is fixing up.

Today, Sunday, the boys and I went out for a late breakfast and then we went over to the cemetery to do some gardening. There hasn't been much rain lately and the flowers are starting to take a beating. We cleaned up and made our way home.

There are less than 3 weeks until the 1 year anniversary of Chris's death. So many, many memories are going through my head each day that it is really starting to weigh very, very heavy. I only hope that I along with the help of the boys can get through this coming event...

Monday, August 18, 2008

An email from the American Cancer Society!

It's so seldom that I'm at a loss for words.... You don't have to know me long to realize that I love to talk! But the Keys event on Friday night has limited my vocabulary. Adjectives that come immediately to mind are: AWESOME, AMAZING, INCREDIBLE....

What the Frederick Keys accomplished in partnership with Comstar and ACS is nothing short of INCREDIBLE. To raise the amount of money in a few short hours that they did...and so generously match nothing short of AMAZING! And to open their venue to ACS to pay tribute to so many local cancer survivors as well as raise funds for local programs is AWESOME! We were able to reach survivors in our community that have never been a part of an event that brings with it so much hope and healing.

Thank you so much to each of you for being a part of this inaugural event. You are all AMAZING people with big hearts...and I am sincerely grateful for all that you do!

I'm already looking forward to doing this again next year!


Laurie Frey
Community Manager
South Atlantic Division
American Cancer Society
1037 Haven Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
888-866-0757 Office
301-733-0285 FAX

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What a wonderful tribute!

Well it finally happened! Friday night went off perfectly. After getting rained out completely in July, the Inaugural Chris DeWitt Breast Cancer Awareness Night drew a really good crowd for the Keys game.

I spoke a few words of thanks before the game started along with a representative from the American Cancer Society. It turned out that the person invited to speak was Michael's vice principal from school ! He's a wonderful guy and has been so very helpful to us this past year.

After some words the kids all got to throw out a first pitch. All 3 of them threw perfect strikes! The game itself wasn't all that good. They lost 14-0!!! One of their best pitchers started the game and gave up 9 runs before getting the hook!

The evening was loaded with so, so many friends and family members. I only was able to sit down and watch a couple of 1/2 innings. My good friends Rich and Jill were able to attend as they were in town and this is THE reason that the previous date was rained out. Chris wanted them there.

During the game there were several events going on. First was a silent auction where all of the players pink hats, the actual bases and some pink bats were being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

There was also 3 raffles going on where fans could by tickets for a chance to win one of the actual used bases, one of the pink signed bats, and a pink hat signed by the entire team. All are very wonderful prizes!

Well when the drawing time came and they announced the winner of the pink bat I looked at my tickets and almost fainted!!! I won! Yes me. Hard to believe huh? Fate huh? Just wait...

When I went up to claim my prize I saw Tyler running towards me. He was excited and told me that we won! I said I know. He said NO.... we won the base! He had tickets as well and his was drawn as the winner of the signed base! Let's see, 5500 people times.... 5 tickets each... Roughly 20,000 + tickets. 3 drawn and 2 were ours. Fate? I think we had some help. Thanks honey!

The raffles and auction raised a good deal of money which the Frederick Keys organization is going to match! They will be making a very generous contribution to the Children's Trust Fund all in Chris's honor.

After the game the American Cancer Society went out and displayed all of the luminaries that were sold during the game. They placed them along the basepaths and lit them with candles. After I spoke, they turned off the lights and I was able to walk with Laurie Fry of the Cancer Society and I was able to see several that were lit for Chris. That moment and the joy of the entire evening finally took it's toll on me and I could not stop crying. I made it back to my section with friends and family while the fireworks display was going off. On the big screen in the outfield was a rolling display of many different things about the evening. The last photo you see here is a picture of Chris that was displayed for a great deal of the fireworks. It was a wonderful ending to the most wonderful evening and best honor that could have been given to Chris. I know she would have been very humbled as I was.

The next few weeks are going to be very difficult ones for me and I can already sense the stress and buildup toward 9/11. This is the time last year that Chris started feeling ill. We had just come back from Deep Creek and attended Danny's Crab Feast. Well yesterday we attended his 24th annual Feast. This was my 1st one without her. It wasn't the same by any means. The kids had fun and I too enjoyed seeing everyone and being there with them. But the void that is left in my life, family, and heart is just huge and is weighing pretty heavy at times...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trip to Antietam Battlefield

This is a busy weekend. My good friends Rich and Jill came into town on Wednesday evening to visit. They are here for the weekend to attend a crab feast and to go to the Keys game in honor of Chris.

Wednesday they came to the house and I showed them all the progress on the basement that we had made. Rich came down to visit me in May and helped pick out the colors with me.

Thursday morning Alex took their daughter Shannon shopping and I took Rich and Jill to the cemetery. Jill had not been there and wanted to visit. There is a lot of history in the cemetery and as you drive to visit Chris you go by a very long row of graves of soldiers that were burried there from local battles of the civil war. There are both
Confederate and Union soldiers there. The headstones are very old and many are faded away and several years ago new ones were erected directly behind them. The first picture here shows them lined up along the fence.

After going there, we picked up Shannon so Alex could go to work and then headed off to Antietam Battlefield. About a 35 minute drive. That was the site of the bloodiest 1 day (12 hours really) battle in civil war history. 23,000 soldiers died in that one day alone! It is a very special place to go and visit.

After the driving tour we went into the Antietam National Cemetery where about 5,000 soldiers are burried.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gillian off to Med School

My niece Gillian has left for Med School! She is attending the University of Pittsburgh. Her family had a little get together for her on Sunday and we were able to wish her well before she left. Chris and I talked a great deal about Gill and her desire to go to med school. It is wonderful news to see her make the jump!!!

Awareness Night on the Minitron

We went to the Keys baseball game last Thursday and while we were sitting there they ran a long promo for the entire inning on the mini-tron in the outfield.

Sorry for the blurry picture but Tyler was a little shaky holding his camera. It's a nice announcement about the upcoming baseball game on the 15th. I also heard from Chris's high school reunion class and a big number of them are planning on attending as well.