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  • Writer's pictureFather Lance W. Harlow

His smile was for you!

At the 2019 graduation ceremony this year at Kurn Hattin, I was asked to help present a brand new trombone to one of the 8th grade graduates who received the overall musician award. Every year a graduate gets his or her own personal instrument to take to high school and beyond. It's a big deal. Everybody wonders who the winner will be. Now, keep in mind--these kids have had very difficult lives and for most of them nothing was free. There were strings attached. There were years of broken promises made to them--and broken hearts. The excitement in the room was palpable as we worked through the various other awards.

The Director of Music was at the podium making the announcements and I was on stage behind the curtain with the trombone case (and trombone stand) in hand and I could see the young man from where I was standing. His face was filled with wonder and hope because I am sure that he never thought that he would be the winner of any award. But Kurn Hattin had been a lifesaver for him. Public school was brutal. Kids can be cruel to each other unless they are taught otherwise-and held accountable.

When his name was announced as the overall best musician for the Class of 2019, the crowd erupted in applause. His classmates whooped and cheered for him as he made his way to the podium to receive the award. Tall and lanky in his crimson graduation cap and gown he smiled from ear to ear! I could tell because I was right behind him and my heart was bursting with pride for him and his happiness.

We opened up the trombone case so the audience could see the brand new shiny brass trombone and the crowd applauded once again. I helped him hold the case open so we could take a picture of it. His smiled filled the room. It was one of the happiest days of my life because it was your day, too. You, our donors, made this day possible for that young man. His smile was for you!! Your prayers for him have healed old wounds. Your donations to the St. Nicholas Project, which supports Kurn Hattin, have helped to feed and care of him for the three years he lived there. Your continuing love for the kids provides them a home. His smile was for you!!

Thank you for remembering the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. God bless you!

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