"Thank You" Letter from J.R.
December 4, 2014
To: The Edmond Memorial Class of '94; former Edmond Basketball coaches, friends and teammates; former college coaches; family, friends, faculty, and teachers; competitors; Berry Tramel of the Daily Oklahoman; and the hundreds of others who felt the need to donate.
I can't begin to express what your gift means to me and my family. The money is most definitely helpful and will go to extremely good use, there's no doubt about that. But more than the monetary value, I so greatly appreciate the thought behind the gift. Illness is a burden but your actions have really lightened the load. For that especially, we thank you.
I have to be honest and say that when I heard Matt was organizing an event to help my family, I was a little skeptical. I know I was a good basketball player, but I never thought so many of my classmates would remember me. The response to his campaign has been incredible. I thought he would raise about $30. Raising $16,000 just blew us away. I can't begin to show him how much I appreciate what he did for my family. The day the article went out to the Daily Oklahoman, I had a heart attack and didn't have a pulse for 40 minutes. I had a 5% chance of living, given my condition, so there is no doubt in my mind that all of the prayers from everyone kept me alive for my family. I think about it everyday. I didn't have blood running to my brain for 40 minutes and I am still alive. I have no doubt that the prayers from all of you kept me alive to be with my family. Yes, your monetary gift was amazing, but the gift you helped me get from God goes way beyond anything monetary!!
This time has been difficult for us, but knowing we have the support of people like you certainly helps. Please know we won't forget your kind gesture. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. I will never forget what all of you did and I will always be a Bulldog for life!
Thank you all,
J.R., Angela, Braedyn, Rylan, & Ashlynn Cunningham
(The original summary of our efforts is below)
Thank you for considering a donation to support J.R. Cunningham and his family. This site was created by Edmond Memorial High School Class of 1994 and Friends as a vehicle to raise support for EMHS '94 graduate J.R. Cunningham, who is courageously battling post-concussion syndrome caused by multiple instances of head trauma received during his basketball career. For a recent story by Berry Tramel in the Daily Oklahoman about J.R.'s health challenges, click here. Many of you remember that in 1993 as #50 for the Bulldogs, J.R. had 32 points, 10 rebounds, and made two free throws with 4.0 seconds remaining in the game to lead Edmond Memorial High School to its first ever Oklahoma 5A Basketball State Championship. After the publication of the Daily Oklahoman story, a significant number of people wanted to know how they could help...well, this is one small way we can do something to support our friend and classmate. Our plan is to accept donations for J.R. and family through the weekend the EMHS Class of 1994: 20 Year Reunion, September 26-28, 2014 (click here for the reunion website). After the reunion weekend, we will announce the results to the Cunningham family and send to them the combined donations.
MyEvent.com accepts credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard). If you choose to pay the credit card and processing fees charged by MyEvent, the cost will be 5% of your donation + $0.75 per donation (e.g. $10 net donation = $11.25 cost to you). You will also have an opportunity to donate by cash or check during various activities over the 20 Year Reunion Weekend (details to come on the reunion website). We have set a somewhat arbitrary goal of $10,000 for tracking purposes, but every little bit will help. 100% of the net donations will be given directly to the Cunningham family. If you have any questions or concerns, please click the link at the bottom of this page to contact by email the organizers of this fundraising drive, and we will respond as soon as possible.
Many thanks in advance for your donation. Using the links above, please share this site over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email with any of your friends and family that would be interested in supporting the Cunningham Family. #94for50 #SupportJR
UPDATE: Berry Tramel has recently publicized our 94for50 fundraising efforts on his Daily Oklahoman blog: "Edmond Memorial Classmates Rally Around J.R. Cunningham," by Berry Tramel.
UPDATE: Come join us at the Edmond Memorial High School Gym on Saturday, September 27 (1:30-4:00 PM) for an afternoon of basketball games for the kids and an alumni scrimmage to honor J.R. Cunningham and celebrate the end of the 94for50 Fundraising Drive. See the "Alumni & Kids Day" tab at the top left of this page for details and free registration for kids.
FINAL UPDATE: Class of 1994 and Friends: After all of the donations were received, we successfully raised $15,000 for the Cunninghams!!! That is $5K over our goal!!! The check was mailed to J.R. and Angela on October 23, 2014, and they are overwhelmed with gratitude. J.R. is finishing a "Thank You" letter that I will post on this site when I receive it from him. Many, many thanks again for your generosity and encouragement to J.R.
Total Collected$ 15,411
Goal: $ 10000