It's two years and counting since we said "goodbye" to Tyler. Every time I thought about writing over the past year, I was overcome with exhaustion, fatigue and sadness. It's been a while, but today I awoke with a little renewed energy and am taking advantage to bring you up to date on our journey without Tyler and with his foundation.
2022 was a busy year. We started off advertising our 2nd annual golf tournament at Iron Valley Golf Course. We made the daring pledge to fill two rounds on the same day, both an AM and PM session. We were nervous at the prospect of filling two sessions, but with Tyler mentality, we took on the challenge and didn't look back. As we received sponsorships and reservations for the tourney, a group of 30 friends, family, and supporters worked tirelessly and sought donations and new sponsorships to help grow the vision of Tyler's Foundation (check out the About page on this website if you haven't already).
April 2022, was a busy month. Bloomsburg University officially opened the Tyler Horst Nutrition Center, in Nelson FieldHouse. Head Football Coach Frank Sheptock and Athletic Director Dr. Micheal McFarland were the masterminds behind the cutting edge center. They nailed it when we asked how can we memorialize Tyler in a meaningful way that represents his life at Bloomsburg University. BU is one of a few Division II schools that offer a center like this to all of their student athletes. In late April, Sarah and I took a personal trip to stay with our dear friends Carri and Rich (retired SEAL) at their home in Virginia Beach. We visited the Naval Base, met several Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) employees and learned a whole lot of amazing stories from Rich and Carri's life together during his 30 year Naval career. This was such a special blessing and Carri has said since we met, Tyler had a hand in bringing us together. We were also overjoyed when we SOLD OUT our sessions for the golf tournament two months before tee-off.
May 2022, started out with me talking about Tyler's Foundation with Laura LeBeau on 1270am radio show one early morning before I headed into work! Thank you to Froggy in Lebanon, PA! We also chose our first ELCO High School recipient for a $3000 scholarship to go towards her college education. In June, many preparations continued for the tournament including our dear friend getting a donation from famous National Hockey League Coach Bruce Boudreau for our auction. The BlueBird Inn also featured TJH Memorial as their "Local Love" charity and held a joint cornhole fundraiser with Yuengling!
On June 24, 2022, we had 208 golfers tee-up and spend the day with us honoring Tyler and all that was meaningful to him. We raised slightly over $50,000, which was donated to the Navy SEAL Foundation, Bloomsburg University Foundation: Tyler Horst Endowment Fund, Nutritional Center and ELCO High School Scholarship.
We took a few more personal trips throughout the summer mainly focusing on our grief. Sarah had the opportunity to spend a long weekend with participants of "Camp Widow" in San Diego. Jesse and I spent his 45th birthday weekend in Houston with 700 bereaved parents at the 45th Compassionate Friends Conference.
The remainder of 2022 included a trip to BU to support the football team, and back to Friday Night Lights for us; as Phillip donned #7 in honor of his brother and took to the ELCO Varsity field for the first time! Finally, in 2022, I was approached by my sister-in-law with the idea of a Bingo event to continue to grow the love of Tyler's Foundation.
The 2 year anniversary weekend of Tyler's death, we held a Bingo event with 268 players and again an army of volunteers and sponsors. It was a huge success and we are again so grateful, not only to give back but for receiving the love and energy from our supporters!
Our family was able to face the dreaded two year anniversary with the spiritual support of everyone who has touched our lives this past year. I struggle to put this feeling into words, but in grieving it is through the spirit of others, that we survive. Thank you for all you have given us and we look forward to what we can give in the future! Our next event is open for registration: TJH 3rd annual Golf Tournament, June 23, 2023-7:15 am or 1:30pm sessions.
I'll end with these quotes because it's recognizant of where I am in my grief:
"The only thing predictable about grief, is that it isn't going anywhere."
"We're just out here making sure our boys are never forgotten." ~Mother of fallen SEAL Kyle Milliken
We miss our life with you Tyler!