Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm From Wasatch County

It snowed really hard last night. It was flying in sideways. The wind blew to the point of stinging your face. And yet.

And yet, 1200 people gathered together at our local high school for a benefit dinner and auction. The reason? To raise funds for a local boy who, in a freak accident, broke his neck during wrestling practice. The people of this community are taking what could be a very devastating tragedy and turning it into a miracle.

My daughter proudly wore this shirt to school today. He is known to his friends as "Super Dale" and within a day or two of the accident, these t-shirts started popping up all over town. Another thing you can find all over town, or rather, at every cash register in town, are collection jars, filling to the brim. It's not uncommon to see them stuffed with twenty and fifty-dollar bills.

At the dinner last night, the people came in parkas, but instantly warmed the atmosphere with their smiles, generosity, and general good cheer. They brought their kids and grandparents, neighbors and friends. The food was 100% donated by the local Zermatt Resort - and they even sent all of their executives to serve it. Never has fetuccini tasted so good.

As we moved into the auditorium for the auction, Dale's mother said a few tearful words, bringing the rest of us to tears. I couldn't help but feel gratitude for my two children, bouncing in their seats, as her son lay in a hospital bed, motionless. As the auction began, I was amazed at the goods that had been donated: power tools, flat screen televisions, hand-made furniture, river rafting trips, and the mother of all prizes: a forty-five-dollar cow elk hunting tag that went for six-hundred dollars. Hunting is big here.

So are the hearts.

I love where I live. And this is why.

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