“Gift of Hope”

Ninth Annual Golf Tournament
June 29, Golfers/hole sponsors needed

Thea Marie Keskinen-Burke is one of the most amazing six-year-olds we have ever met. She loves God, her family and everyone she meets. Her faith shines through every day. Thea suffers from Generalized Idiopathetic Epilepsy. She had her first seizure at the age of two. Thea has both Tonic-Colonic (Grand Mal loss of consciousness) and violent muscle spasms and absent seizures (brief sudden lapses in attention). She must be watched 24/7.

She must be accompanied by someone every moment of her life which makes it hard for her to develop independence. She has never experienced a walk alone. Any form of independence has been null and void.
Thea has been praying for a special dog that will allow her to experience a life normalcy. The seizure dog will help her in all aspects of life. Rebecca, Thea’s mom, has spent the past few years trying to locate a special dog. The good news – she contacted Regal Regis in Spring Grove, Illinois. This family owns and operates a business that has been helping veterans, children with Autism, Aspergers, and both children and adults battling diabetes epilepsy. They have been breeding special needs dogs since 1987. They train West German Shepards (SRD) Seizure Response Dogs. These dogs can detect a seizure before it occurs. They are trained to put their paw on a person’s chest to awake them. They will lick their neck and give certain bark commands. These dogs have been known to pick people in a crowd and give warning response signals.
Through the “Gift of Hope” we have provided half the funds for Thea’s dog. We had a Bar-B-Que and a silent auction April 20th 2024. Done -Right- Cookers of Hondo barbequed the meat and the beans. They volunteered their time. These guys even sliced the meat and delivered it free of charge. We sold over 500 tickets. Divine Savior Lutheran Church Hosted this event .We also had 106 silent auction items. We raised $19,000 dollars that day. Businesses, private donors, and organizations made this happen. Devine News donated all advertising. What a blessing the Devine Community has been.
The next step in this journey will be Saturday, June 29th, 2024, at the Devine Golf Course. 116 Malone Drive, Devine, Texas. We need golfers to sign up for this special event $100 per player. This will include a free meal for golfers and cash prizes as well as drawings for free gifts. We are also in need of hole sponsors. These are $125.00 per business or family.
Thea’s dog and trainer will be at the tournament that day. She will get to meet her dog and the dog will leave for more training. She decided to name her special dog “River”. River is a Western German Shepard. She is a little girl. Just what Thea has been praying for. The dog’s total cost is $38,000 dollars. We are halfway there. We are asking for one more fundraiser and a meet and greet for Thea’s dog (River). The “Gift of Hope” has come this far, and we think we can raise a little more. $19,000 has already been given to the trainer.
WE thank all who have supported and continue to support this annual benefit for those in need. This is our Divine Savior Lutheran Churches “Gift of Hope” nineth year to serve others in need.
Thea’s prayers have been answered.
In Memory of Jesse Esch, Joyce Haas. Claudia Carberry, Bryleigh Shullanberger, and in honor of Becky Gonzales, Karlee Riser and Audrey Capps.
To God alone be the Glory!