The generosity of friends, family and caring strangers |

The generosity of friends, family and caring strangers

Susan Anderson, Park City

"You have taught me to take my imagination to a whole new place!" I was delighted by these words from a second-grade boy to me at the end of a school year, but now I can say those same words to the Park City area as I contemplate with a full and grateful heart the response to our family’s request to help us raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America so that my son, Jeff, could run a half-marathon to honor the memory of his brother, Brian, who died from these diseases, and to help others now suffering.

Brian loved to cook and he loved Volker’s bread. He tried mightily to duplicate Volker’s asiago cheese bread, but never succeeded, although his was very good. Volker donated three hundred loaves of his magnificent bread at our big fund-raiser. As those loaves flew out of the baskets, I could literally feel the heaviness in my heart growing lighter, just imagining how pleased Brian would be. I felt the goodness of the man, Volker Ritzinger, flowing over into my life and into the lives of others. We are so grateful for his incredible generosity.

We’d also like to thank Mike Holm at Park City Market, who gave Brian his first job, for his donation of bakery goods. Brian had a wonderful sixteenth birthday skiing with other high school students at Deer Valley Resort on a free ski day provided for the students. Later he worked at Deer Valley as a skiing photographer. We thank Bob Wheaton for his generous donation of day passes for our fund-raiser.

All the Anderson boys, including their dad, looked forward to Samak beef jerky in their stockings at Christmas time, and also as a must accompaniment for every family vacation. We thank the Samak Smokehouse store for their generous donation of a gift basket. We’d like to thank several of Brian’s favorite restaurants for their donations to the fund-raising efforts. We’d like to thank every friend and family member for their generous response to Jeff’s personal letter. We’d like to thank The Park Record and those caring strangers who responded so generously to the guest editorial I wrote in September with the invitation to "wrap a warm quilt around a grieving family while at the same time help others who are suffering."

This certainly happened in a way that truly I could not have imagined. Jeff was able to exceed his goal. We’re all looking forward to his completing the race in Las Vegas on the first weekend in December.