Today we continued the fun of Grand Island by starting off with an incredible breakfast hosted by Tommy's diner who have been serving an incredible eggs, sausage, and pancakes for the team for (6?) years! After breakfast the team headed out to Ashley park for fun games and activities with members of the local special needs community.
At this park we had the opportunity to hear 2 incredible stories that really highlight the power of Journey of Hope. The first was of Jason a Pi Kappa Phi member and a Journey of Hope alum, our sponsor Julie told stories of how incredible it was to have meet Jason and how well he connect with her daughter and the impact he left on their family, she spoke of how excited she was to hear that Jason would be coming back through Grand Island with during the 2000 Journey, he unfortunately passed away in a climbing accident before the trip. To honor everything that Jason has done the town commemorated a tree in his honor and planted it at the park. The Ability Experience is also commemorating Jason by having his initials inscribed in this years 30th anniversary jerseys.
We also had the opportunity to hear another incredible story, one that really showed me what the journey of hope means to the people and families that we have interacted with. The story was of a young girls experience with the Journey of Hope teams over the years, she would count down the days till the teams arrive and when it was time she'd wait eagerly for the team to arrive so she could play and hang out with the team. After the team had left for the next city she would reminisce of the day and start counting down the days till next years team arrival. Angel unfortunately suffered from Alexander's disease which unfortunately took her life in her late teens. Angle
This story really touched my heart, to hear from a mothers perspective the joy that our team brings to the sons and daughters and even to the family themselves showed me that we are participating in an unbelievable event, one that leaves a lasting impact on all of the people we come in contact with and one that will leave a lasting impact through the countless cyclists that will follow behind me.
Sonoma State Kappa Nu