The world continues to work in magical ways…
We all have moments in life where our gut feeling says to stop, or look out, or just be open to what the universe is trying to tell us, if we are listening well enough.
I was sitting at my desk in the early morning when I received an email I had been anticipating from Garland High School.
Every year, in late May, I am invited to the awards ceremony at Garland High School (GHS) to present the winner of the annual Bill Hunt Scholarship award. This year was no different, and yet it was. When the email arrived asking for my attendance to present to an audience of the ten finalists and their families, plus the virtual audience of the entire school, there was a voice shouting inside my head that said, “no, don’t do that, do not go!” Anyone who knows me knows that I am a “yes” person, and always love to support our community. This inner voice was so determined that I felt it almost take over the keyboard to type out a message declining their invitation. It weighed on me for over an hour while I struggled to get any work done. I just sat there with the overwhelming feeling of “what the hell was that about?”
Then John popped his head into my office to say that I had a visitor. I went out on the floor to find a man and woman waiting. The gent was holding pamphlets, and I really wasn’t in the mood for a sales pitch. I greeted him and he immediately asked, “are you Mr. Helfman?” After I answered in the affirmative, he asked if he could speak with my father. This raised my concern quickly and I mentioned that my father is retired. I asked him what this was all about.
He said, “Mr. Helfman, my name is Caleb Williams and I am a recipient of the Bill Hunt Scholarship, and I am here to ‘pay it forward’.” I got tears in my eyes and had to sit down. I looked up at Caleb and asked to hear his story. After he recounted it I said to Caleb, “three things – one, I’m going to set up my tripod and interview you right now because this has to be seen to be believed. Two, we will discuss paying it forward. Three, I would like to set up a time for you to meet my father.”
Please watch the interview before reading on. Isn’t every story about an ending of some sort?
After I turned off the camera, I turned to Caleb and told him that I understood why he was here. I asked, “Caleb, would you honor my father and me by speaking to the class of GHS and presenting this year’s scholarship?” To me, this would be the perfect way of paying it forward!
He looked at me and shook my hand, insisting it would be his honor. Then he said something that rocked me: “Mr. Helfman, that is not paying it forward. I would like to pay back my scholarship to the Bill Hunt Scholarship fund so it can continue to change lives like it did mine.”
I got up and hugged him!
Caleb won the Bill Hunt Scholarship in 2001. Twenty years later, his wife and two daughters will be in attendance as he presents the very same award at the commencement ceremony for the GHS class of 2021 on June 3rd.
Thank you, Caleb. You not only bring this tradition full circle, you make it worthwhile for us to continue the legacy of Bill Hunt by finding unique ways to contribute donations to the scholarship.
Caleb was able to meet my father in person once again, and relate the tale all over. My dad said it was one of the happiest days of his life, hearing the story of Caleb and his accomplishments since winning the scholarship.
Father’s Day and johnnie-O
Thursday, June 17th
This year we are celebrating our Fathers in more ways than one! Last year’s Father’s Day did not seem as special with the ongoing pandemic. Now, in 2021, we want to make up for it by celebrating dads in whole new ways.
Our johnnie-O collection is family-friendly in all categories of apparel. This brand knows how to put together ensembles for travel, golf, casual leisure, and modern business. There’s a johnnie-O look for every dad out there, no matter what his lifestyle.
This year Dad needs to be celebrated!
Please join us on Thursday, June 17th, from 11am to 6pm to meet our johnnie-O rep, Jim Ferrell, and find that special something for your dad.
Ken’s Family News
Our family was blessed to be able to get together this past weekend after a very long wait due to Covid. Many have endured the same painful separation. To finally be together, after so much time has passed, gives one pause to cherish the beauty of family.
This photo was taken on Friday evening with all sides of our family joining together to celebrate a day in our lives. We feel very fortunate and grateful to still have the same group as we did in early 2020.
From our family to yours, please know we are sending love, positive thoughts, and wishes that you and yours may also be together soon to rejoice in reunion.