The Natalia Mustang Band spent Memorial Day remembering the sacrifices made for our country as many Natalia residents watched band members march down Constitution Avenue in Washington DC. Our Mustang Band represented Natalia with such pride. They also wore ribbons to show our deepest support for all of those in Uvalde.
Over $100,000 was raised by this amazing community during the 1st Annual Audrey Jane’s Light event held at Devine Acres this past Saturday, May 14. The event was held in honor of Audrey Capps, 4 years old, as she battles a very rare and devastating disease called A-T (or Ataxia Telangiectasia).
The Capps and Calame crew are doing everything they can to raise money for research to find the cure. The AT Children’s Project was started by two other A-T parents and works tirelessly to find that cure. If you didn’t get a chance, you can make a donation at www.atcp.org/Audrey
Little Audrey Jane Capps, of Devine, has sweet chubby cheeks, blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and a smile with a light inside. Her light shines brightest on the darkest of days. Days like this past July when she was diagnosed with a cruel disease that has no known cure (yet). On that day, her family cried all around her. Audrey, on the other hand, smiled and laughed and danced, telling her tearful grandmother “We got this!” with a thumbs up mid-dance.
You’re invited to join in a day of family fun at Devine Acres Farm, and morning fun run/walk on May 14, 2022 in honor of little Audrey Jane. Audrey just celebrated her 4th birthday, and she is battling a rare disease called Ataxia-Telangiectstacia (A-T). The Capps/Calame crew and team “Audrey Jane’s Light” will be hosting this event as a fundraiser for the local family and for the A-T Children’s Project (ATCP), whose sole mission is to find a cure for Audrey and all A-T warriors!
The event will kick off with a Some Run/Walk at 9 am. Then, purchase your tickets for a day full of family fun activities at Devine Acres Farm from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a barbecue plate sale and with live music by The Jeremy Richard’s Band that evening from 6p.m. to 10 p.m.
A-T is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that typically impairs movement and coordination, weakens the immune system, and causes an increased risk for cancer. A-T is rare (approx. 500 known cases in the U.S.) and often comes with many other physical and medical challenges. We have been told that kids with A-T typically need a wheelchair by the age of ten and that life expectancy is limited by the disorder due to the impaired immune system and risk for cancer. There is currently no cure for A-T. With your help, we are working to change that!!
Audrey’s mom and dad, Josh and Brittany Capps stated, “We have been to the Johns Hopkins A-T Clinic in Baltimore and we have a good team of doctors on our side locally as well.”
“We have been connected with the AT Children’s Project, a nonprofit formed/supported by families affected by A-T and they are doing everything they can to fund research and trials and find a cure. They have been a huge blessing these past few months.”
“We have learned that every child with A-T is so different in their individual symptoms and know of some who have lived into their 30s and even early 40s. Intellect is typically not affected which is a blessing. Only time will tell how this disorder will affect our baby girl.”
“Right now, she is a bit wobbly and off balance (she has been since she started walking at 15 months), but she is happy and smart and has a zeal for life like no other! “
“We have also been told that kids with A-T typically start losing physical abilities step by step between ages (4-8). We are in a race against time to find a cure for our Audrey Jane.”
“God has been with us every step of our journey so far, putting so many good people and resources in our path. God has also blessed us with the best family, friends, and community support we could ever ask for.”
“We will not let A-T defeat us, we will not let it suck the joy from our lives, and we will not give up hope! “
“God’s light shines brightly through our Audrey Jane and we have faith that he will lead us to a cure! And when he does, he will get all the glory!”
“That being said…we are excited to host this fundraiser in May to help raise funds for the research that is actively being done to find a cure.”
“In the meantime, we appreciate any prayers you can spare for our Audrey Jane and all the families affected by this terrible disorder, and the doctors working to find a cure. Please spread the word to anyone looking to support a good cause or anyone you know in the medical community. You never know what may spark the cure.”
“Thank you to everyone who has already reached out to us and that have been praying for us. We are eternally grateful for your love and support!”
All ticket sales from the event, Some Run registration, and corporate sponsorships, will go directly to ATCP’s search for the cure. Activities at the farm, the silent auction, and food/drink sales will go into a trust for Audrey to help pay for new potential treatments and/or needed medical equipment for Audrey that may come up.
Audrey is surrounded by a large and amazing team of family, friends, and community who are determined to change A-T through Audrey’s Light, including grandparents Ken and Debbie Capps, Tommy and KK Calame, great grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles, siblings, and friends.
In the words of Audrey Jane, “we got this!”
Get your tickets for the fun day at Devine Acres or sign up for the race at:
By Kayleen Holder
This Dallas Cowboys jersey autographed by Jason Witten, and football autographed by the team, were donated for the May 14 silent auction fundraiser at Devine Acres for Audrey Capps. This awesome memorbilia was donated in memory and honor of the late Ken Lee, of Lytle, by his loving widow Bernie.
Several other jerseys for the Dallas Cowboys and Texans were also donated and will be used to help lots of charities and people throughout the year, thanks to the genorosity of the Lee family. Each one comes with an official certificate of authentication.
“I hope this helps a lot of people,” said Mrs. Lee. “I think Ken would like that.”
Two stories written by Devine News Editor Kayleen Holder were chosen to appear in one of the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul books, a national book chain. The stories focus on two awesome things happening right here in our community, HANK INC and the yearly Christmas Gift Drive for area foster children.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kindness Matters was released this March, and features 101 feel-good stories that restore our faith in people. The book is for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and most major bookstores.
“Getting stories into Chicken Soup for the Soul is a dream come true for me,” Holder said. “One of the stories in this book is about my favorite local charity, HANK, INC, and the two angels in our community who founded it, John and Debbie Southwell. I first met the Southwells while covering county court for the newspaper, and I was so amazed by what they do for local foster kids in Medina County and surrounding counties. They are very special people.”
“The second story I have in this book is about the beautiful way our community comes together to buy dozens of Christmas gifts for children in foster care. It is like ‘Santa’s Workshop’ at The Devine News around Christmastime, and I absolutely love that!” Holder said. “SO many awesome people in Devine and the surrounding area make this possible. Our little town is an awesome place to live, and whoever made that sign that says ‘small town with a big heart’ absolutely nailed it. That’s what makes our community special. I only wish I could have listed all of the names of the many angels in our community who have helped make the annual gift drive a reality over the years. Our community makes sure each and every kiddo gets exactly what they wished for, and more.”
The following is a press release from Chicken Soup for the Soul:
Press Release–COS COB, Conn. – When Donna Schulte saw a thin homeless lady outside a restaurant, she followed her impulse and invited the woman to have lunch with her. Although the waitress inside didn’t want to serve the young woman, Donna insisted. And then she learned that this woman who the world was ignoring was a veteran who was fighting cancer and couldn’t get a job due to her treatment regimen.
Following the impulse to be kind is a central theme in a new Chicken Soup for the Soul collection about how kindness matters. Everyone’s talking about kindness, too, because the world has been through a lot in the past couple of years, what with the pandemic, divisiveness in our society, and conflicts around the world.
The message is that it’s easy to create miracles for yourself and others. If people just think outside the box and look around, they’ll see the need. The 101 stories cover a wide variety of tales of good deeds, helping hands, and wise words, from the everyday to the extraordinary.
According to Chicken Soup for the Soul’s author and editor-in-chief Amy Newmark, “Scientific studies have shown that ‘doing good’ is not only beneficial for the recipient of the good deed, but also for the person doing it, making that person happier and healthier. Performing random acts of kindness is a proven way to make yourself feel good.”
“Each story in our new book is unique,” continues Newmark, “but we learn this universal lesson from all of them: We are all capable of both needing help and providing help. And it is this give and take, the ability to be a provider and a recipient depending on our circumstances, that make us part of a united community of people who really do care about one another. No matter what divides us, our basic humanity reunites us.”
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada, more than 300 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, the phrase “chicken soup for the soul” is known worldwide and is regularly referenced in pop culture.
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