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Monday, January 14, 2008

1st Annual Zack Grafe Alumni Softball Game

The alumni and current players!

My daddy was the alumni team coach...just like the good ole days!

Class of '03!

Alumni girls

I know what you are thinking....."you've already made a post today". Well, yes that is true, but I realized that I am going to be super busy this week, classes start tomorrow for me so I'm sure I will be slightly overwhelmed. Plus, this post is something that I wanted to share with y'all for the past week or so but haven't found the time to actually sit down and write. If you notice what the title of my post says, it pretty much explains what I am going to write about. For those of you who don't know who Zack Grafe is I will explain to you who he is. For those of you who do know him, then I'm sure you know what I am about to talk about. So here goes....

Zack Grafe was an assistant softball coach and head basketball coach at my high school for 7-8 years. My junior year of high school he was diagnosed with Leukemia - the worst kind.. We all found this out right before our playoff game for softball. It was devastating. He since then had been diagnosed with leukemia 3 more times. A total of 4 times. He had 13 rounds of chemotherapy and seemed to rise above the occasion every time to "beat" cancer 3 times. He never complained about being in pain or being sick. Coach Grafe has 3 beautiful little children. Riley-5, Reagan-3, and Little Zack - 2 months. I could go on and on about this man because he is one of those guys that you want to be your friends, coach, or teacher. He didn't have to say anything at all during a conversation because you already knew what he was thinking. He truly was an amazing coach and teacher. Coach Grafe passed away Dec. 27th to his 4th round of Leukemia. He couldn't fight it anymore even though he tried. He left behind, like I said, 3 little precious children, and of course his wife Jill - whom is an amazing woman. When Coach Grafe passed away I was in New York on my vacation. But before then, when I had found out he was sick for the 4th time, I decided to put together a fund raiser to raise money for him and his family. I thought about putting together an alumni softball game and all the proceeds would go directly to his family. Being an alumni of Clements High School, I thought alumni softball players could play the current team ( I coached the current team in the Fall). Mind you, I had about 2-3 weeks to put this event together. I wasn't expecting it to be huge b/c it was going to be thrown together real fast, but every bit helps right? So while in New York, finding out Coach Grafe passed away, the word of the alumni game spread all over Sugar Land. People were helping out left and right. While I was organizing the t-shirts being made to be sold and worn by the softball players, from putting together a silent auction in a matter of 3-5 days, to organizing food sales, admission, donations, can say I was a little busy. I honestly thought that this event would raise maybe $5,000. Like I said, the word spread.....and spread.....and spread. I think one of the most amazing things about this fund raiser I organized is.... not one person had to spend any money to organize this. Everything was donated, from food to drinks to t-shirts made to be sold......everything was donated! It was amazing! On Jan. 9th, 2008....we raised ....are you ready to hear this ( or read it).....$20,000. ONE NIGHT WE RAISED THAT!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!!!?!?!??! I was shocked, stunned....I couldn't believe it. I mean I wasn't underestimating anyone but when I put this together in a span of 2-3 weeks by no means did I think we would raise that much money. Truly amazing. A total of $50,000 was given to Jill Grafe and her kids for immediate fincial needs and it was also to start up the kids college fund. This event is going to be an every year thing and all the money will continue to go to Jill and the kids. That night was truly amazing, although the alumni lost to the current girls in the last inning, I couldn't help but not care that we lost ( which is never like me because i play to win..he he) but I couldn't help but fix my eyes and hears on how many people came to this event, how much money was raised/donated, and just having Jill and the kids there. God is so good and I truly have to thank him. He provides. So I probably missed some details here or there but I think all of you got the gist of the story. It was an amazing night and I wish all of you could of been there just to experience the love that everyone had out there. We truly weren't out there to kick another teams butt, we all were out there for the love of the Grafe family.... I can't stop saying it, but it truly was amazing.

That night will definitely go down in my history book as one of the best times and nights of my life.


Anonymous said...

WOW I am amazed!! I think that is an awesome gesture and I am sure that the family is very happy what you did for them. oh, by the way....sweet mermaid tattoo!!

The Doty's Dish said...

Kellianne that is amazing what you did in such a short time for that family!! I will be praying for that family for sure...they are so lucky to have you there for them. And that is a sweet mermaid tattoo.

Danni & Bryan said...

Kellianne! That is so awesome! Cancer/leaukemia is such an ugly reckless disease, and I am praying for that family too! You are so awesome! Hey, wanna come see me Saturday? You can come hang at the casa and then we can grab lunch or catch a matinee movie or something. I wanna see P.S. I Love You real bad!

Courtney said...

my name is Courtney, im Zack's neice. i visited my aunt, riley, reagan, and baby zack, and they really appreciated the team helping out.