Grip Hands...A Benefit for The Houston's

Friends & Family,

I wanted to share with you a story about our friend, classmate, groomsman, co-captain on Army Basketball team (someone instrumental and a cornerstone in our lives) - Kevin & Liz Houston. Kevin and my husband played Army Basketball together at West Point from 83-87, and Kevin was a groomsman in our wedding. We have been family friends for over 20 years.

I just received this message from Kevin's brother-in-law and our classmate, Jim Gagliano...

Kevin Houston, is currently dealing with an incredibly difficult set of circumstances, in that his wonderful wife (highschool sweetheart), Liz, has been stricken with an insidious disease (scleroderma), and has been bravely battling its ravages since 2003. The undeniable strain---financially, physically, and emotionally---has taken its toll on both of them. I felt compelled and find it absolutely appropriate to post this missive to our class-wide distribution list, along with the directions, for those interested, to a special website set up with the intention of raising funds for them at www.friendsoflizandkevin.com. This site contains information regarding an upcoming local benefit, as well as alternate means to make a donation if any, or all, are so inclined.

We all knew Kev as more than just the superstar basketball player he once was, and some of us are still lucky enough to share his company and continue realizing what a unique and special person he is. He's been a great partner to Liz and a wonderful father to three incredible kids. He and Liz are a special "team" and share a unique partnership that almost defines loyalty and one-of-a-kind relationships. Liz, to the many of our classmates who have been blessed to know her, is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and through all the difficulties presented by the disease, has managed to keep her lovely smile and motherly tendencies as she rides herd over her household and half the neighborhood's kids, as well. Never having been one to seek the limelight or attention, Kevin and Liz have eschewed the publicity and fanfare these efforts typically engender, but support this effort by their friends and family that so desperately want to assist them through these difficult times.

This ad hoc consortium of benefactors has been or chestrated and coordinated by local folks (Kevin and Liz reside near West Point in the New Windsor area), as well as friends and family from Pearl River, New York, where they both grew up. The aforementioned link contains information about the 3/1/2008 Benefit, as well as background on their situation and details about Liz's disease. Read it and you'll find yourself motivated to help out.

Please, if at all possible, help get this circulated to as many of our difficult to reach classmates, as possible. Directions on how to respond in order to lend a helping hand, if so inclined, are detailed at the website. I think the below quotation, famously articulated by E.W. Howe and 'preached' to me in various forms by my dear Mother over the years, aptly applies:

"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there's anything you can do. Think of something appropriate and do it."

Thanking you all, in advance, for whatever assistance you can provide, whether it be financial support, or simply keeping Kevin, Liz and their entire family in your thoughts and prayers.

Best regards,
James A. Gagliano ("Gags")
c/o '87 company G-1


I know most of you in the blogosphere barely know me, let alone some strange family from New York, but rest assured Kevin & Liz are everything that Gags said they are in his letter. Ron and I are going to the benefit. PERIOD. DONE. We are going to do what we can to support them both emotionally and finacially. We know and love them.

After visiting their website, if you are moved - buy a raffle ticket. I would so appreciate it from the bottom of my heart and you will be supporting a wonderful family. I nothing else, please add my friends Kevin & Liz to your prayers.

1 comment:

  1. For supporting a cause like Kevin's case, then anyone would come forward to buy raffle tickets. I have been into these earlier and would continue the same in future too.