Thursday, December 11, 2008
Introducing a new special part of my life...
It never ceases to amazing me how the big guy upstairs can show you how blessed you are. Since November and my DNF at Ironman, Ive been a bit disappointed in myself. Sometimes its difficult when we focus all our thought and energy on our failures and stop looking at the possibilities that exist in our lives. God changed that around for me three weeks after Ironman.
In 1966, I was just 3 years old. My father, Judge D. Arthur Yergey was serving his community in Orlando's Orange County Juvenile Court. He had a vision. He saw a need for a residentail facility for young boys who had exhibited negative social behavior due to their family circumstances but had not turned that behavior into a life of crime. The goal was simple: give these boys a safe environment where you could rehabilitate them and show them a positive path in the world.
That was 42 years ago. What started as Edgewood Boy's Ranch is now operating as Edgewood Children's Ranch and it continues to do the work that my father invisioned. On Tuesday afternoon, under beautiful skies, my father and all of my family gathered at the Ranch along with 75 current resident children and staff to dedicate the new onsite school. The schoolhouse, which use to be known as the Jefferson Learning Center is now double the size, upgraded with brand new classrooms, desks, computers and restrooms and is called the Judge Yergey Learning Center. It was awesome to stand there in a place that is so incredibly special to my father....to see his picture on the wall and watch these children come up and give him a hug. Many told him and my family how they now have their own desk and that they don't have to share supplies. Several told me how thrilled they were that the water fountains that worked and that each classroom had its own restroom. One little boy told me that he liked the smell of new carpet and that he now loved coming to school just to be in a "new clean place".
The things we take for granted are so special to so many. This Ranch is a very special place where they have over a 90% rehab rate with many "ranchers" returning to the facility in their 20's and 30's to be cottage parents or teachers on the site. My father has built quite a legacy...which I intend to help continue.
On Wednesday, I was recommended to be part of the Board of Directors of the Ranch. I couldn't be more humbled and honored. One of the board members was so excited because she heard I was an Ironman. I immediately corrected her but told her I was working on that. She KNEW I could help her organize a 5k run to raise funds for the Ranch....so now I REALLY have my hands full....
Fundraising for the Leukemia Society, Board participation with the Edgewood Ranch, running a fitness business, working for Walt Disney World, taking care of my amazing husband...and Ironman training. Hmmm....do I really need sleep to survive???
As I receive the pictures from the event, Ill post them here :)