BY EDWARD BENKO
I met Jeff at the (I think Max was 3 or 4 then) bike shop that used to service my scoot, he an I have been friends since. For years Jeff has wanted me to become what he called a “jewelry gypsy” and work with him at the shows he does. This past summer I took him up on the offer and worked with him at Thunder in the Rockies in Loveland, CO. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I’m in the mortgage industry and things are a little bumpy in my business these days, so the extra work was very welcome.
I was on the Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital Run and heard from some friends (who witnessed the accident) that “someone” had gone done. My friends had no idea who it was and they were still a bit traumatized by it (they were right behind Jeff when it happened), I didn’t learn it was Jeff until a day or two later.
That same week I stopped by the Piper Inn for lunch and met Jeff’s sister, Erin, who came there looking for anyone who had information on what had happened. I immediately called the friends who’d witnessed the accident and put them on the phone with Erin, it seemed to bring her great peace of mind.
I knew something had to be done and I started putting things in motion to get a benefit together. A friend introduced me to Tory and Colleen at the Spillway Grill. They had just bought, remodeled, and re-opened the bar and didn’t hesitate to step up and offer their facility for the event. Troy was amazing! He lined up the bands and took care of many of the details associated with getting the venue in order.
My buddy “Rock” also stepped up instantaneously (Rock does many vet benefits) and the wheels officially were set in motion. A few weeks into the project Troy called me to tell me about John Bran John, who also one of Jeff’s good friends, was in the Spillway one day talking about how someone should do something to help Jeff. After talking with him,Troy put him in touch with me and John joined the team.
The event took place and we raised $10,285 for Max and Jeff. I have a lot of people to thank for the success, Peter Boyles and Jim Arnette for getting the word out; Carrie, who brought in professional auctioneers; and all those who attended and donated so generously.
Since the benefit I have built a website for anyone who would to help out:http://wwwgenesiscreditsolutions.net/JeffSmithBenefit. Jeff has a long road ahead of him and any help would be greatly appreciated.