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...

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