I took off my emo, “I can’t believe y’all got beaten like that by the Eagles yesterday” pants long enough to go to Bart Scott’s Can’t Wait Grand Prix Charity fundraiser for Eric Legrand. All funds raised went to the “A Son Never Forgets Foundation” founded in 2006, and dedicated to encouraging people affected by spinal cord injuries by providing resources during rehabilitation.
If you don’t know who this amazing young man is, he is a former Rutgers football player that suffered a severe spinal injury during a game in October 2010, and was paralyzed from the neck down.
Scott and his teammates, along with some very generous donors raced go carts around the Pole Position Raceway in New Jersey to raise money to assist Eric and his family with medical bills and other expenses.
It was a great event, and I have to say I was truly inspired by Eric’s grace and positivity.
So yeah, let’s start the dish with the Legrands.
The first person I talked to was Eric’s mother. She was so excited to share the news that he sat up for 35 seconds with just the therapist’s hand as assistance. They are moving into “impossible” territory now. That is the kind of progress that would normally send me to tears (I’ve been following his story since he was injured). Instead I kept it together and found out what a gracious and caring lady she is.
She didn’t expect such a big turnout and was truly thankful for the support. She talked Christmas trees and how she’s had no time to get ready for the holidays, and also about how great people have been in reaching out to help them during this process. She is clearly determined to see her son walk again.Eric himself is a great kid. Although he clearly was tired from therapy-his words-he patiently greeted everyone who came up to wish him well and offer congratulations and request pictures. He didn’t even seem phased when people were offering their hands for him to shake.
He’s a Broncos fan, and we spent a couple of minutes lamenting how our football Sundays went. He believes they’ll make the playoffs in spite of this setback. Interesting.
The next person I met was Star Scott. Bart’s wife. SHE. IS. BEAUTIFUL. Like just stunning. We chatted about what made them choose the venue, and as it turns out Bart Scott is a huge fan of go cart racing and spends quite a bit of time at Pole Position. She has been wanting to put together a charity event for quite some time and was glad he was finally agreeable to do something there.Once things moved out to the pit, there was plenty of action. There were several crashes, which pretty much killed any interest I would have had in go cart racing, and a very familiar flag guy. Kind of reminded me of Mark Sanchez.
I also got to talk to Eric Smith, Aaron Maybin, and Joe McKnight who expressed almost to a man how happy they were to come out and support their teammate for such a great cause. Smith had never go carted before, and Maybin and McKnight were rusty but experienced drivers.Finally, I got to chat with Bart Scott-who is completely awesome. As I was waiting for him, he was having a great conversation with another young man named Jason who is also paralyzed.
He spoke about being inspired to start this foundation after his cousin was shot and had a severe spinal injury. He wanted to be able to show him that life goes on.
As we talked, it was obvious how passionate he is about this, and thankful he was for all the support he got from his teammates, and his new pal David Banner.
He made some great points about how important it is not only to give back, but to be able to inspire someone else to make changes as well.
It was a great night and a great event.