A selfless act gets its due reward

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As most of you already know, one of the avenues the Relay for Life team “The Rack Pack” used was to sell shirts and raffle tickets outside of the local Wal-Mart.

On one of the recent blistering hot Saturdays we had in early August, we were approached by a mother and her son. I soon discovered

that the mother, Kim Brown, had recently been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. It was caught early and so far the treatment has been completely successful.

While we were chatting, and as she picked out a shirt, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that her 11-year-old son, Ryan, was really interested in the HDTV for which we were selling raffle tickets.

The tickets were $2 each. Ryan had $3 in his pocket. He really wanted a chance at winning that TV.

His mother could see he wanted to take the risk. You see, the $3 was raised by his efforts selling lemonade at a stand he set up near his home and the proceeds were to go to the American Cancer Society.

When my teammate, Jeff, and I heard this, we convinced him that it would be OK for him to use $2 of the $3 for a raffle ticket, in that it was all going to American Cancer Society.

His mother agreed.

So after filling out the raffle ticket, Ryan turned to us and gave us the other dollar as a donation. Jeff and I were so touched by this act of selflessness that we came up with the idea that every time someone donated an extra dollar to the TV raffle, we would combine it with Ryan’s and see how many extra raffle tickets we could enter in his name.

Fast forward to Aug. 18: The relay is winding down and Jim Jervey is making some last-minute announcements.

I grabbed all the raffle tickets, placed them in a cap, and asked Jim to pull one out for the TV.

You guessed it. The ticket he pulled had Ryan’s name on it.

Not only that, it was the original ticket that his mother had filled out. I’m not sure what the moral is here, but it was just so gratifying to see someone so young rewarded for his selfless effort in the fight to help find a cure for cancer.

John Racsumberger lives in Franklin. He is the captain of “The Rat Pack” team in its first year with the Franklin/Southampton Relay for Life.