One week ago last night, 170 old and new friends gathered together at the Gwinnett Marriot for a night to remember. As you have read countless times over the last few months in anything I have written newsletter wise, our featured guests were Coach Don Meyer and ESPN’s Buster Olney. It was a unique time of both initial introductions to new friends and getting reacquainted with old friends. It was a great learning experience and put us on the map in Atlanta with some people whom we have not previously been connected.
You know me and you know I’ll talk/write your ears off so let’s review the night with some pictures and witty commentary as well.
Left to Right: Jackie Bradford, Dana Davis, Tim Vick, Don Meyer, and yours truly.
Ever wonder what about 2000 basketball coaching wins look like when standing beside the guy that cost them about another 100 wins probably? See above. These 4 men, 3 of whom I was blessed to play for, are far more than basketball coaches. Teachers, examples, models, and mentors is what they are to me and to many, many others.
Left to Right: Bill Strong, Dan Putman, Jamie Smith and Trey Kelly
I still get emotional looking at this picture. I remember these guys back when they were classmates with my brother Philip. Sneaking around, causing trouble, wanting to hang out with me and my oh so cool friends (?) and just generally being my younger brother’s buddies. I’m honored to now know them as men and call them my buddies too. Only one of them is still available ladies so you better only be looking to the far right above so as to not upset any wives.
Left to Right: Nate Browne, Ned O’Brien and Benjamin Browne
Coach Meyer brought motivational material to hand out to each attendee. It was Nate and Benjamin’s job to make sure everyone got a packet when they came in. Here Ned O’Brien learns what it means to get double teamed by a duo of Browne men.
We filled the place up for our first ever benefit dinner. Kinda makes me wonder how we’ll top it next year.
Many are already looking forward to our 2012 event. While on one hand I would love to think about that there are more pressing issues at hand. I ask you to please pray for funding for my family to return to Russia in less than a month now. Our fundraising work this spring, while active, has not been as fruitful as we had hoped. We plan to leave Memorial Day weekend as long as resources are sufficient to make that happen. Please stand with us in prayer about this.
Left to Right: Nate with nearly no hair, Don Meyer with absolutely no hair.
Nate got to sit at the table of honor with Coach Meyer and Buster during dinner. Luckily for Nate, they did not control his butter intake. It was a great night to be Nate.
Left to Right: Coach Meyer, Buster, he who cost great coaches many games and a few championships
Coach made my hair circa 1987 the star of the show that night so I finally had to save my dignity and revise history a bit more to my favor.
Front: Buster Olney and Don Meyer Back: Catalyst for Lost Championships and A Beautiful Woman
Coach and Buster stayed until nearly 11 p.m. signing and personalizing nearly 100 books either brought with attendees that evening or bought on site from YouthReach International. If you would like a copy of Buster’s book signed by both Don Meyer and Buster Olney write me and I’ll fill you in on how to get one. They are available from YouthReach International for $30 including shipping and handling.
So, it was a great night as you can see. I thank each of you that came and all of you who prayed. It did teach us a lot and we are excited about how we’ll build on it for the future. For now though, we say goodbye to Beyond Winning and thank God for all the great things he accomplished through it.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. Traci is doing great. We are very much at peace after visiting the doctor yesterday. We have every reason to think that she is doing exactly as we hoped and prayed she would be at this point on her journey.
God bless you all,
Director of Russian Operations
678-935-0220 x103 Direct
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Grayson, GA 30017