This past Saturday, Garrett and I had the opportunity to attend the inagural Freedom Ball in Hopkins County, Texas.
After months of hard work and preparation, the day was finally here. It exceeded all expectations I ever thought I had. The venue, Cedar Canyon, was magically beautiful. The speaker was both funny and moving. Mr. Clayton McGraw’s rendition of “Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash brought me to tears like it does every time he performs it. I left with a refreshed pride in my country and for the men and women who serve it.
The event’s purpose was twofold. First, we have numerous veterans whose names do not appear on the local veterans memorial. The memorial was originally completed debt free to the tune of over $1,000,000. To say that Hopkins County is a giving area is an understatement. The next objective of the fundraising part of the event was to create a perpetual fund that would provide upkeep for the memorial. There is a kiosk at the memorial where people can search for names on the memorial.
Aside from the fundraising efforts, the Freedom Ball planning committee, which I was proud to be on, wanted to recognize the efforts of all veterans and honor veterans, which I felt was accomplished.
I feel that giving people lead a fuller life.
It’s important to me that we instill a desire to give and to help others in our children. We were able to to adopt two veterans to place their names on the wall in honor of our kids. I am thankful that my pappy’s (mom’s dad) name is on the wall already. However, many of the veterans whose names are not on the wall were men and women who were killed in action and do not have relatives who would be able to put their name on the wall.
I was incredibly moved by a generous donation made by a well-known and highly successful businessman. Anyone who knows this family knows of their giving spirit. To acknowledge the impact he and his family made on the community and the efforts of the Freedom Ball, he was recognized at the event.Overall, the event was fun, moving and successful. I am thankful to be a part of a giving community who is able to come together for the greater good. I fully believe that giving people lead fuller lives, and I hope to encourage you today to find something you can contribute to, whether that is by donating money or time. Afterall…“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb –