By Kristen Seeber
Women’s Fund of Smith County
I’m a fan of Jon Bon Jovi. One of my favorite songs is “(You Want to) Make a Memory” from the “Lost Highway” album. The lyrics include, “You wanna make a memory? You wanna steal a piece of time? You can sing the melody to me. And I can write a couple lines.”
Anytime is the perfect time to make a memory, but there’s something special about summertime – a season ripe for making moments last. Some of my best childhood memories were made at Boyd Lodge. Tucked away in the piney woods of central Minnesota on Whitefish Lake, this resort was the ideal vacation spot for our family. It was a seven-hour drive from our home in Iowa, but the songs we sang and the games we played somehow made the six-passenger station wagon move faster.
We were there the same two weeks in August every year and stayed in the same cabin overlooking the beautiful lake. My dad taught us to fish on that lake, and it’s there we learned to water ski. My mom devoured a stack of books while watching us do endless cannonballs off the dock. The sun bleached our hair and baked our skin, and I never wanted the days to end.
Making your own memories is rich but helping to make a memory for someone else is richer still. The Women’s Fund of Smith County is thankful to be a part of creating memories for many children in our community. Because of our members’ giving, we awarded a grant to Camp Tyler Outdoor School’s summer program “Camp Tyler Unleashed.” This funding provides an affordable opportunity for children to experience camp life – fishing, horseback riding, canoeing and archery. For many of these campers, these are first-time experiences. Memories are made and friendships are forged within a diverse, enthusiastic group – all centered around the program’s four C’s: communication, cooperation, commitment, and caring.
Another grant realized by the generosity of our giving circle is the “Normalcy Experience Program” of CASA for Kids of East Texas. Through this fund, CASA volunteers can access financial assistance to let children experience activities they might not otherwise enjoy while in foster care. An exciting and unexpected outcome of this project has been sibling visits during these activities. Many times, it is not possible to place siblings in the same home due to overcrowding in the system and lack of placement availabilities. But because of this program, now it is common practice to schedule outings to include siblings so they can share time with each other. Imagine the magical memories made alongside brothers and sisters, while playing miniature golf together or watching a movie at a theatre after pizza and ice cream. Often, something normal can turn into something unforgettable.
Sadly, I’m not much of a scrapbooker, and I store many more photographs in my heart than on my phone. Yet I understand, like many of you, that memories are precious. They remind us of days gone by and encourage us to embrace each and every new day. When we give to and serve others, we help them experience moments worth remembering. There’s a song in all of us. Maybe we can steal a piece of time – listen to one another’s melodies, write a couple lines, and make a memory.
Kristen Seeber serves as president of Women’s Fund of Smith County, a collective giving circle whose grant awards bring positive change to the lives of women and children in our community. Visit www.womensfundsc.org for information about the mission, outreach and membership opportunities of this philanthropic organization.