To the Journal editor:
To all who've supported our son and his Let 'Em Play campaign, a year ago the Ishpeming School District received news from the Michigan High School Athletic Association that our son, Eric, would not be eligible to play sports during his senior year.
Knowing the teammates and coaches that he had competed with over the years, we fully understood that if this was the final word, he would miss out on a great number of priceless lessons and special moments throughout this school year. We felt terrible for him in the loss of such important opportunities.
What a difference a year can make. In that time, many thousands of you rallied around our family and other families in our circumstances, and changed the course of our lives.
Because of your kindness and conviction, Eric has experienced an unforgettable year. Some of the experiences have been deeply tragic while others have made many of us stand and cheer.
But in every instance, he was able to have these experiences alongside some of the best young people we've ever known. Whether they've been in front of a cheering crowd or in the private confines of the locker room or a church pew, these events and the people with whom he experienced them have helped to make him the young man we, his parents, are so proud of.
We can't thank you all enough. We obviously cannot repay everyone, in kind, for what you've done for our family. We can only hope that you understand and take pride in the good that you've done over the last nine months and, in many cases, over the last 19 years.
You've made one young man's life infinitely richer and satisfying than it otherwise would have been and in so doing, you've also made the lives of those around him richer and more satisfying.
In addition, you've made Michigan a better place by creating the opportunity for something like this to happen in communities all across the state.
Congratulations and we offer you all of our heartfelt gratitude.