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Tag Archives: Relay For Life

Springfield Brew Crew May Event a Huge Success!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came to the Springfield Brew Crew event Saturday night at Intuition Ale Works. A wonderful time was had by all! And, I don’t have numbers yet, but I am positive we made a lot of money for the American Cancer Society.

If you were unable to attend and still wish to make a donation to the Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society, you may do so by going to the Springfield Brew Crew website and clicking the link on the Home page.

www.sprbrewcrew.com

Thank you, again to everyone who made this such a wonderful evening!

Marc Wisdom
Fearful Leader
Springfield Brew Crew

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This Saturday — Springfield Brew Crew Event & Benefit for Relay for Life

official logo of the American Cancer Society R...

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It was 4:00 a.m. in the tiny Midwestern suburb, the air was cool and still outside when a siren pierced the silence. The young boy woke to the sound of the siren wailing. During his short life he had learned to tell the difference between a police siren and a fire truck siren. The siren he heard that night definitely came from a fire truck. The boy knew his father was on duty that night and on his way to another fire or accident. He knew that that meant his father was in danger again.

I was that young boy over 40 years ago. I was the son of a firefighter. Last week I told you about how my father was a very deep man; a man who held out hope that the family he was leaving would carry on. Today I want to tell you about the hero that he was.

There are still nights when I am awakened by the sound of a distant siren and reminded of how I felt as the son of a firefighter. Often, as a child, I would lie awake after hearing that siren and wonder if my father would walk through the door in the morning when his shift ended. Horrible scenarios would run through my mind of my father trapped in a burning building, his crew desperately trying to get to him before the roof collapsed. Or my mind would insist that an explosion had occurred and my father was caught in the debris field, forever lost in a rain of sharp metal and burning cinders. I was plagued by images more terrifying than any child should have to imagine of Hell-like landscapes, my father in the center of them. But, every morning at 6:15 my father would walk through the front door as I prepared for school, sometimes still sooty from a fire the evening before. He’d smile at me and tousle my hair before kissing my mother and heading for a shower.

He took his work seriously. In his 20-year career as a firefighter he saved countless lives, helped deliver babies, fought merciless infernos, and even saved a cat or two. He left home every morning with full knowledge that it could be his last seeing his family, that any day any day on the job could bring an end to him. He understood and accepted the risks of his job because he existed to serve his fellow man. He was selfless, dedicated, and courageous. He saw no distinctions between color, age, social status, or political affiliation. If you were in danger or need, he would risk his life to help you.

My father never backed-down from a fire, never wavered in his resolve to preserve life and property from the ravenous beast that a fire can be. He plunged headlong into his job always believing he was making a difference, that the life he saved that day would enrich the world in some way. In the end, by doing what he did, he enriched the world. But, even this heroic man could not defeat the horrendous monster that took him. He deserved better.

I am the son of a fallen hero. He was a firefighter, a husband, and a father. He was violently taken from us 30 years ago by a foe even he could not fight: cancer. He was, and will forever remain, my personal hero.

This Saturday, May 14th from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM you have an opportunity to revere the memory of this man with me. Intuition Ale Works is generously donating $1 from every beer sold at the May Springfield Brew Crew event to the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event will be a celebration of my birthday which I shared with my father. We will laugh, drink great beer, enjoy each other’s fellowship and friendship, and remember.

I hope you will join us at:

Intuition Ale Works
720 King Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204

If you cannot make the event, I hope you will consider making a donation to the Relay for Life. You may do so at the Springfield Brew Crew website – www.sprbrewcrew.com – just click the donation link on the home page.

 

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Springfield Brew Crew Event & Remembrance May 14

American Cancer Society

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Earlier this week I promised to share information about my father as a lead up to the May Springfield Brew Crew event. The event is to be a birthday celebration for me and a remembrance for my father who shared the same birthday with me. Gregory H. Wisdom, my father, was taken from us in August of 1991. His killer’s name was lymphoma, a form of cancer that attacks the body’s immune system.

My father was a firefighter in Hazelwood, Missouri, the small-town suburb of St. Louis where I grew up. He was an extremely dedicated man and worked hard to improve himself and his skills as a firefighter, a man, and a father. His dedication inspired me to seek adventure, never accept mediocrity, and continuously improve myself. He was a hard-working man working 24 hour shifts at the fire department and, on his days off, working long days as a paint and wallpaper contractor. He was not, however, an educated man. In high school he became bored and restless. History and geography lessons fueled his restlessness and stoked his desire for adventure. So, at the age of 16, he dropped out of one of the best prep schools in St. Louis to join the Coast Guard.

He had a zest for life that was unstoppable. The adventures he found in the service of our nation led him from the Caribbean Sea to remote lighthouses miles off the coast of Maine. He had a way of throwing himself headlong into his work, pushing himself to be the best. His was not book knowledge; he possessed knowledge of how the world worked through the school of hard knocks. He learned that a man who was willing to work hard could prosper.

My father worked hard at his two jobs to make sure we had everything we needed. He approached his role as the head of household and provider very seriously. Often he worked long into the night painting houses to get the extra money needed to take us on fantastic vacations. As children we visited the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Monument Valley, Williamsburg, Virginia, and Washington D.C. among other places. He arranged with our teachers for these trips to provide educational opportunities, and our teachers provided him with lessons and activities for us to complete for school credit. He was dedicated to providing us with quality educational experiences as well as the material needs of a growing family.

But, in the spring of 1981, he visited me during my fraternity’s parents’ weekend and broke the news to me that he was being admitted to the hospital with cancer. He was hopeful that he could beat the monster known as lymphoma again – he had had it before and fought it to remission. But, the doctors were not so sure.

In the end, his fight was valiant, but unsuccessful. At the age of 44, he succumbed to his attacker and slipped away from us.

I ask that you come and celebrate his life with me at Intuition Ale Works, Saturday, May 14th from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The wonderful friends I have at Intuition have made a very generous offer to donate $1 from every beer sold that evening to the Springfield Relay for Life which benefits the American Cancer Society. Help us put an end to the scourge that took my father from us and come have a few pints to remember the man that he was.

 

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May Brew Crew Event – Celebration, Remembrance, Benefit

official logo of the American Cancer Society R...

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The May Springfield Brew Crew event is a celebration of my birthday and undoubtedly about having fun and drinking some really great beer. But it is also about remembering my father who shared the same birthday with me. I want to tell you a little about him now.

Gregory H. Wisdom was born on May 9, 1937. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brooklyn Dodgers that day 7 to 1. He was born a few days after the German airship the Hindenberg exploded and a few days before the Golden Gate Bridge was opened in San Francisco.

He lived like there was no tomorrow, each day was a new adventure to be explored to its fullest. He was a firefighter by profession, a house painter by trade, and an inspiration to many. He was, and quite frankly, still is my hero.

He was not an educated man, having dropped out of high school to join the Coast Guard. But, he insisted that my siblings and I get the best education we could.

In the spring of 1981, my freshman year at the University of Missouri, cancer took hold of him in its chilling, deathly grip. The last four months of my father’s life were spent confined to a hospital room overlooking Forest Park. I visited him often and we talked for long hours.

“Marc,” he said to me one afternoon, “look out that window and tell me what you see.”

I looked out and replied, “I see trees, dad.”

He looked at me, closed his eyes and said, “I see leaves, each one different, each one special. One day they will fall from the tree and die. But, while they are alive and still on the tree they are like family, they help the whole survive. They work hard, stay together, and, in doing so create beauty.” He opened his eyes and looked at me with pride, “If you are the man I think you are, the man I hope I have made of you, you will do the same, you will be like the leaves.”

He died a few days after he told me that. An uneducated man, a working class man, but a man who was dedicated to his work, loved his family intensely, and had great appreciation of art and life.

In the coming days I will tell you more about this great man. I will tell you how he lived and how he was taken in the prime of his life from us.

It is vitally important that we stop this insidious group of diseases called cancer any way we can. By joining us for a night of fun and remembrance on May 14 at Intuition Ale Works you can help eradicate cancer from our world. For each beer sold that evening Intuition Ale Works has generously pledged $1 to the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. Please come celebrate and remember with us.

 

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