Tears in a father’s eyes mean something. And I have been moved to tears more than once by the response of my local community’s generosity and compassion.
Last night was the Southmoore High School Go-Purple Game for Rett Syndrome. Many other causes receive a lot of attention, especially associated with the purple color distinction. Not to take away from these other worthy charities, but the truth is this rare disease gets lost in the mix and so few even know Rett Syndrome is a serious problem for many young girls.
The idea for the Go-Purple Game began with the students in Lori Crawford’s Speech/Debate/Mock-Trial team at Southmoore High School. They chose Rett Syndrome for their philanthropy project because a member of their team has a little sister who is afflicted with it, and the group wanted to raise funds and awareness. The idea took off. Two months later, the varsity men’s and women’s basketball teams wore purple uniforms during a bout against city rival Moore High School to help the cause.
The event raised more than $3000 for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (rettsyndrome.org), in addition to raffle prizes and the uniforms being donated. The list of donors is too-numerous to mention individually, but we are grateful. The funds amassed mark a huge success for a grass-roots event, especially for its first outing. Because of the turnout, I’ve been told that the school and sponsors want to make this an annual event. More tears in this father’s eyes.
But the event was much more than just raising money and awareness. It was about kindhearted outreach. I spoke with a few of the men’s team players in the hall, thanking them for being a part of the charity. The courteous young men were humble and thanked me for letting them be a part of it. After the Lady Sabercats won their game, Coach Kannady-Sayes’ entire team came over to visit with my daughter, Kara. They and the cheer squad took pictures with the young guest of honor and she beamed from the attention. Coach Wes Brown’s wife and so many others approached us, making the occasion not merely a fund-raiser but rather a personal and considerate experience.
My heart swelled as these things happened. It is truly a blessing to live in a community that is Moore Strong! Thank you, everyone, for making this event a success, but moreover, thank you Moore for raising such a wonderful and caring group of future leaders coming out of Southmoore High School.