I have to tell you that this day's honoree was NOT planned! But after the last 48 hours he rushed to the top of my list of inspirees (that's a new word - a person who inspires....LOL). Who the heck is Travis Moon? He's not well known like Mickey Mantle or Robin Roberts but he's one of the greatest motivators I've ever known. And I've now had the honor of meeting him twice - last year and this year. He's such a down to earth guy with probably the very biggest heart I've ever seen in my life! That's something for sure - and to say that about a man makes it even greater in my book (most men don't want you to know that they have a heart that big but Travis lets it all hang out there for you to see and take into your own soul).
Why am I so taken with him? Not because he's a radio personality here in San Antonio (at the greatest country station there is - KJ 97 ) but he is, in a sense, the country music voice of St Jude Children's Research Hospital! This was, I believe, something like his 18th St Jude Radiothon for St Jude's and it was the 4th in San Antonio (I've told everyone I know that when I moved to San Antonio from DC 9 years ago there were two things I missed immensely - one was my vet and the other was the St Jude Radiothons and now I have a great Vet and San Antonio has the radiothons so I'm very happy).
Mr. Moon spends over 48 hours straight going strong on the air inspiring people to give to St Jude. Everything he says comes directly from the heart and you can tell that he's living it right there with you and not just giving you hype. He really cares (as do the other radio personalities at KJ97). It's not "just a job" - he brought the radiothon to San Antonio - he didn't "inherit it". It's not just something he "has to do". It's something he loves and has an amazing passion for. That's why I feel so much akin to him. I have had that same degree of passion since I met Suzanne over 11 years ago. We both seem to live to give to St Jude but we do so in almost totally opposite ways.
I so respect Mr. Moon for being able to continually generate the required enthusiasm not only amongst the other folks at the radio station but amongst the entire "country music" population of San Antonio as well. He brings everyone TOGETHER at least once a year for 48 hours. But what people don't seem to understand is that as hard as he works during those 48 hours, there is so very much preparation and organization/coordination that has to go into preparing for the event. He has to communicate with all the artists that contribute wonderful gifts that give folks an incentive to become a "Partner In Hope" and man were there some great ones this year. This takes effort and lobbying even though all the artists are extremely generous - you know they are getting hit up by every radio station (and others) throughout the country. It definitely requires a sales job but Mr. Moon has quite a resume to let artists know that San Antonio is an extremely caring community that pulls together to take care of others. He's such an inspiration that he's got San Antonio competing with other markets that far exceed San Antonio - raising almost three quarters of a million dollars in our area in just the 4th year required awesome preparation and then a solid 48 hours of hard charging and letting the world play his own heart strings - he didn't play those of others - he let others see what's in his heart and what's behind his passion for St Jude.
I think so highly of Travis Moon that I wish there were something I could do to help him and the others - I know they are exhausted and yet they still have to work today and probably even tomorrow - radio life has to go on! The adrenaline can only last so long.
In your prayers tonight and when you're saying your "gratitudes" please thank the world for people like Travis Moon, Randy Carroll, Jamie Martin, and Bree who took all the children that will ever need help from St Jude Children's Research Hospital into their souls, hearts, minds and lives for 48-72 straight hours and wrapped San Antonian hearts around that wonderful hospital as well. I hope you realize that the research done at St Jude's is spread all around the world and not kept in a proprietary manner. Anything discovered at St Jude is given freely to the rest of the medical community. Another thing that many people don't realize is that no one is ever turned away for an inability to pay. The entire family (including siblings of the stricken member ) are cared for completely - it's one very big happy family. I have been "involved with" and passionate about St Jude's for over 11 years and have been fortunate enough to have been able to visit there and watch what goes on and even through all my tears I could see the love and happiness that radiate in a place that you would think would be maudlin. It is so far from that it's amazing. As they said on the air - the love and concern for the kids reaches from the people manning the doors all the way to the top administrators. They are all there for one reason and one reason only - to care for and love the kids.
I pray that you never, ever have to experience the tragedy of a pediatric catastrophic illness (or of an adult one either) but if you do or are friends with someone who is enduring such pain, I hope that you remember this post and know that your family can get help at St Jude's. Please give. Mr Moon gives his heart and soul to this cause. You can give $0.67 a day (pocket change as Randy emphasiszed) to help some poor child who should not be suffering but should be out playing. If you want to support my memorial fund to Suzanne please contribute at my Tribute page but if you just want to go to St Jude to contribute use their link.
Even though this post is specifically to honor Mr. Moon, I would be remiss if I didn't mention his wonderful on air family again - Randy, Jamie and Bree - and they really are a family. I thank Randy and Jamie for taking their valuable time to take this picture with me yesterday morning. I will cherish it forever!
Thank you all!