14 July 2008


Weber State Fireworks were missed so badly as a missionary. Lately more than ever my gratitude is growing for having my birthday on Pioneer Day, But as I have began to study the doctrine of Pioneering, it's amazing. It is a part of everyday life.

If you have ever heard me complain about having to share this holiday, please forgive me. Isn't this photo amazing. I just picked up my camera again. Forgive me for not documenting more. it will change.

My niece Anna and her Momma Hollie. She isn't for sale, but aren't both of them great. I just think Motherhood
is a great photo subject because the emotions are so visible,
forget photoshop when you've got baby and Momma
everything else is taken care of.

So Now is time to sit down and learn what pioneering really is
What is pioneering?
introducing new areas of thought or development
We all possess it, inherently we are all pioneers, its our right and responsibility.
But I've got a new pioneer to admire and his name is Travis Hess.
The picture above is the exit trail from a swimming area, the first part of the Echo Triathlon.

The race is for children who die of cancer and their parents can't pay for the remaining bills.
HCF was founded in April of 2005 by Travis Hess. Travis' life and the life of his family has been very affected by cancer. Over the years, he has watched grandparents, aunts, and uncles die of cancer. He watched his younger sister successfully battle breast cancer at 32. His lost his father at age 49 and one of his brothers at age 19; both dying very young with cancer.

Hitting even closer to home, Travis is also a cancer survivor, and two of his four children have been diagnosed with cancer at very young ages. His daughter Alexis died at age 3 with a rare childhood cancer. When Alexis died, Travis and his wife Sherry didn't have life insurance for Alexis and were financially unprepared.

They were still making payments on medical bills. They wondered how they would ever pay for the funeral and burial of their little girl. It was then that Travis and Sherry began receiving donations from friends and family. They received $1,000 from an anonymous donor.

Travis and Sherry were both overcome with a feeling of gratitude; they wanted to help someone, just like others had helped them. During 2005, HCF teamed up with TriUtah and the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and put on the 'Echo Challenge Triathlon'. Part of the proceeds of this triathlon were donated to HCF.

I started volunteering at 5 a.m. on what seemed to be a normal chill Saturday, but by 7:15 a.m. I knew it was different, emotionally I was changed. To see 960 ish contestants with a cause so much greater than their own physical health. Cheering them on, become emotional and watching a 78 year old man lift his feet the last 10 yards with the biggest grin, we all knew this is bigger than us. Everything is bigger than us, and it isn't really about us, but we are still needed to pioneer things for others, pave the way, lighten the burden and I was so pleased I was able to put a dent of help in this world.



Becky said...

We missed the fireworks this year :( That is one of my favorite summer activities- we would just go sit on top of the big hill right by my parents house and you could see the fireworks so good from there. And it's so fun to walk around the duck pond and see old friends.
Loved your thoughts on pioneering! It really is bigger than us.
And thanks for your memory. I totally forgot about that day- but I remember it now. I'm pretty sure my parents still have those little plastic balls if you want to go play ;)

Notes From My Underbelly said...

We didn't go to the fireworks! I'm just not up to all the regular stuff! I love your pics! Youare talented! Jenny- as for treats I'd never turn down peanut butter bars... he he! No really once the baby is born just come visit me, nobody visited me after Bing and I was very lonely!!!

jackie said...

Holy cow Jen- you totally should be a photographer/writer. GREAT photos and touching story. Loved the fireworks- WONDERFUL as always- aren't they put on just for you, along with the parade? he he... :)

Crabb Family said...

I love the firework pics. Being in Hawaii that is the one thing I miss about Utah..the WSU fireworks...maybe we'll be able to stay for next year.