The annual, multi-dimensional event was created last year by the Young and Spencer families to remember and celebrate the lives of Megan and Andy, to express their thanks to community and friends, and to raise funds for maintaining the annual scholarships established in Megan and Andy’s honor as lasting legacies. The scholarships, available through the Whitley County Community Foundation, are awarded to a graduating female and male student athlete from Churubusco High School preparing to attend college. Scholarship winners include Alexis Bankson (2010), Jordan Hamilton (2010), Alexandra Walker (2011) and Dustin Arvola (2011).
The event began with prayer conducted by Jon Pelz, followed by the release of over 250 balloons from those in attendance at the start of the celebration. Attached to each balloon was a card requesting anyone finding the balloon to share their thoughts at the website www.andyandmegan.shutterfly.com” www.andyandmegan.shutterfly.com – beginning the evening of the release, people had already begun logging onto the website to report finding balloons at various locations. So far, balloons have been reported found in Waterloo, Kendallville, Edgerton, OH and Archbold, OH. The website contains pictures, a comments and blog section, links to Megan and Andy’s scholarships and several other features. The families encourage everyone to check out the website and invite you to become a member!
Music was provided throughout the afternoon and evening courtesy of the talents of Royce Binion, Stephanie Spencer and local band favorite “Lee Blake & The Cheez-Its” (Lee Blake, Marcus Fulk, Dusty Geiger, Dylan Geiger and Kris Kreager).
This year’s benefit included a silent-bid art auction of beautiful and interesting artwork donated by several area artisans, friends and family … Brittany Crabill, Jessie Tartaglia, Liz Frericks, Danielle Hartmann, Shanna Fleetwood, Anistassia Jackson, Samantha Spencer, Jessica Peebles, Dick Heffelfinger, Mariah Hutchinson, Ryan Branning, Dustin Arvola, Cathy Thorne, and others. The auction itself raised $900 towards the scholarship funds.
Food, drinks and other items were provided by several sponsors, including the Noble County Pork Farmers, the Magic Wand Restaurant, Egolf’s IGA, Brevin’s Downtown Eatery, Save U Mor, the Columbia City Krogers, the Churubusco Lassus Handy Dandy, the Columbia City Walmart, Faith Lutheran Church, the Collins United Methodist Church, the Churubusco News and the Columbia City Post & Mail.
The Young and Spencer families wish to express their deepest gratitude for the invaluable help and support of: Jeff and William Wagner, Jim and Carrie Harris, John, Cathy and Jay Petrie, Luther and Becky Gross, Jeff, Winona, Caleb and Cody Teusch … and to each and everyone of you who attended, participated or supported this year’s benefit, making it so memorable.
Megan Young (CHS Class of 2011) and Andy Spencer (CHS Class of 2010) arrived home on July 16, 2009. The benefit picnic underscores an amazing fact: that Megan and Andy continue to be a vibrant part of the lives of the people in this community (consider just the brief sample listed of the many names who were involved)! But even more amazing is that Megan and Andy reach out and continue to make new friends every day to share with all of us, creating an ever-expanding community without geographical boundaries. Community created through the scholarships, the website, balloon release, the picnic, the Eagle Memorial Garden, news articles … through us. Do you see it? You are a part of it (see Romans 12:5). Do you feel it? You can sense it, instinctively, deep down (see 1 Corinthians 13:13). Have you considered why? Think on it … as we journey ever homeward.