No Less a Need

For the first few months of 2010, we’ve seen some tragic events, especially with the major earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. The scale of the misery and devastation, amplified by 24-hour cable-channel coverage and HDTV screens, can be overwhelming.

The larger-than-life scope often obscures the tragedies happening closer to home, to people you know. These personal misfortunes are no less troubling, traumatic or in need of our help.

I’d be surprised if any of you know Aron Cole. To be honest, I don’t, either – but I do know his father, Kevin Cole. Many in the trade met Kevin in the past few years, either as a past editor of Surface Fabrication or as communications director for the International Surface Fabrication Association (ISFA). He’s taken a keen interest in the trade and been doing yeoman work for the ISFA in the past year.

He’s also a single dad with three children. Aron, at 18, is the oldest, having just reached that milestone birthday in the middle of last month.

Right now, we don’t know if Aron will see another one.

ISFA Executive Director Russ Lee informed the group today that Aron was involved in a traffic accident last week, hit by a driver allegedly under the influence. Aron suffered severe head injuries and, at this point, has less than a 20-percent-chance of surviving.

It’s a tough time for Kevin, with the other two children (ages 12 and 13) at home and Aron in a hospital some three hours away.

It’s obvious that Kevin and his family need all the emotional and spiritual support we can offer. There are also plenty of real expenses involved that aren’t covered by even the best insurance policy as a single parent tries to cope with a family life thrown in chaos.

That’s where we come in. As I noted, you probably don’t know Aron. You may know Kevin from a visit at a trade show, or a picture next to his magazine column. The point is that you know him now, and he’s not going to get a spot on CNN or his own toll-free help line.

The ISFA is opening the Aron Cole Fund. A contribution here doesn’t pay for massive airlifts; it goes toward filling a gas tank for long drives from home. It makes every day less-daunting, and shows that people out there care for somebody who’s stretched beyond limits they didn’t think possible.

You can contribute by credit card by calling the ISFA at 877-464-7732 – or, you can do it quickly, right after you read this, by going to ISFAnow.org and using PayPal.

After all, he’s one of us.

Emerson Schwartzkopf

You can read up-to-the-minute news on the dimensional-stone trade and search the archives at Stone Business Online.

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