Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A worthy cause: The "GameChanger"

        Two areas I usually avoid: (1) raising funds for a cause; (2) writing about Jesus Christ.
        Today is an exception.
        The cause is the ongoing fund-raising effort for a Christian documentary/film --  GameChanger: The Kenneth Harvey Story. We can use your help ... and your money.
         The part about Jesus? If you know me, and my family's religious heritage (Jewish), you know this is not our focus. So why today? Read on.
         If you have followed my blog and/or received my e-mails for the past three years, you will know that Kenneth Harvey -- a hero in his hometown, Logansport, La. -- is a person we greatly admire.
         Three years ago, I wrote a 12-part series on Kenneth and his life before and after the brain-stem injury he suffered during a Logansport High School football game late in his senior season (1964, also my senior year in high school).
          He had been a star athlete -- quarterback and safety in football, and an even better basketball player. He was a college basketball prospect -- a rangy (6-foot-3), skillful shooter.
          He never walked again; his legs paralyzed. But with only partial use of his hands and arms, he has lived on courageously and as an inspiration. Until two years ago, he lived in an apartment by himself and drove a customized van.
          He has since been in an assisted living facility in nearby Mansfield, but the hope is that he can return to live -- and live well -- in Logansport.
          Kenneth is a deeply religious man -- always has been -- and it is his faith, his Christian testimony in churches in Logansport and the area, that is the basis of this story.
          As the DVD and poster promoting the documentary/film idea proclaim: "I am quarterbacking for Jesus Christ now."
          His friends in town, and in DeSoto Parish, honored him on Oct. 30, 2009, with "Kenneth Harvey Day" and a statue/tribute next to the Logansport High football stadium. 
          The organizers of those special honors now are working on the documentary/film that will tell Kenneth's story. Ben Freeman, John G. Russell, Mary Mac Thompson and Sissy Morris are among the leaders of the effort and the "Kenneth Harvey Advisory Committee," which has been holding monthly meetings in Logansport over the past year.
           As you also might know, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the effort, a "Go Fund Me" page linked to it, and a web site (www.gamechangerthekennethharveystory.com).
           Through various endeavors, the committee has raised some $14,000 of the $30,000 needed for producer-director Troy LeBlanc of Elyon Media -- based in San Antonio, where Ben and Cynthia Freeman live -- to begin to do the actual filming they have planned.
           The committee currently is promoting a project with Logansport-area church pastors and deacons to help raise funds. They have a letter, plus the DVD and the poster, asking for help.
           In part, the letter reads: "The Advisory Team feels that Kenneth's life story is a powerful witness to the love of Jesus Christ and to those who hear Kenneth's story."
           So not only is the committee asking for contributions from churches and its members, the letter also says that "Kenneth is available to visit your church on a first-come basis."
           If you are reading this in Shreveport-Bossier or elsewhere in North Louisiana or East Texas, I hope that you will consider going to your church leaders and ask them to be part of this. And make a financial contribution.
          (And if anyone has a connection or input with the Duck Dynasty/Duck Commander organization, let them know about it. The Duck Commander leader, I hear, once was a 1960s quarterback in North Louisiana -- a year older than Kenneth.)             
          I'll say this with no reservation: Making a contribution to this is money spent a heckuva lot better than giving to one of the political parties. Not much Christian about the millions being spent there.
          Checks should be made to "Gamechanger: The Kenneth Harvey Story" LLC. Mailing address: P.O. Box 791, Logansport, LA 71049
          All monies collected should be deposited at Community Bank of Louisiana to the account of "Gamechanger: The Kenneth Harvey Story" LLC.
          Those interested in having Kenneth speak at their church, should phone John Russell at 318-697-4303.

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