It was quite a weekend in our little town. On Saturday morning there was a big event in honor of our friend's son Luke. Luke, for those of you who don't know, is preparing for a bone marrow transplant after his leukemia came back several weeks ago. He is just in kindergarten and he is the bravest little boy I have ever met. Some of his mother's friends decided to organize a 5k run in his honor and raise money for both the family and for children's cancer research. I cannot tell you what a remarkable job they did with this project. The town turned out in mass to support this family. Businesses made donations of food, cash and supplies...kids from the local and neighboring schools showed up to volunteer or run...rivals in their own sports, all working for one cause. There was a children's run and each child got a balloon and they released them all at once. It brought me to tears.
Luke, his brother and his mom
Our local fire department has made Luke and honorary fireman. His picture hangs on the wall with the other firemen. Fire departments from around Illinois and Missouri have sent him hats from their departments...well over 150 different hats. It was only fitting that Luke arrived on the fire engine to cheers from the crowd. It was even more moving to see the firemen, complete in fire gear, walking at the end of the racers on the 5k. Santa was also on the fire truck and a generous sponsor arranged for Fredbird (the St. Louis Cardinal's mascot) to be in attendance all morning. Luke is a big fan and when he is in the hospital in St. Louis, some of the players have come to visit him.
In this time in our world where there is so much sadness, political bickering and hate...this was a town filled with only love on Saturday morning. Some of the runners came from other towns and didn't even know the family, but they wanted to help. The Champaign-Urbana news station sent someone to do a feature about Luke and it was also handled with such love and care. Today, Luke is in St. Louis having tests to see if his numbers are high enough to have the very strong chemo dose he is supposed to get this week to prepare for the transplant. If all goes well, he will be having the transplant in early January. Please continue to pray for this wonderful family and this special little boy. There is a long road ahead for them, but they certainly are not walking it alone.
On a much less serious note, we were very fortunate to see Kenny Loggins in concert at our local Performance Center on Friday night. I grew up listening to Loggins and Messina, and have enjoyed Kenny since he has been a solo act. He was so good. At 64, his voice sounds exactly as it did when he was younger...maybe even better. He had people dancing in the aisles when he sang "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack and I was certainly out of my seat and moving to "Footloose". His Christmas song, "On Christmas Morning" gave me goosebumps. He did 3 encores and I would go see him again in a heartbeat. My only complaint is that my voice is still not back and I couldn't sing along. Click on the links above for a little bit of Kenny!