True Strength of Character

True Strength of Character No one doubts Eric Todd's strength. As a member of North American Strongman (NAS, Inc.) and host of the Gus Lohman Memorial Strongman Challenge which also serves as the Missouri State Championship, Eric's been lifting heavy objects for quite some time. He's also a former wrestler and football player. Basically, one tough dude.

But Eric has a soft spot for a charity known as Camp Quality. The proceeds from his Gus Lohman Memorial Strongman Challenge are always donated to this camping experience for children with cancer. Eric has even volunteered to serve as a 'companion' for campers, a very time consuming commitment because each camper requires a companion for the entire week.

Several years ago, Eric was assigned to a camper who had recently undergone chemotherapy. This child was so weak from the treatments that Eric had to drive him around to activities in a golf cart. They made frequent stops at the medical offices, and the boy just didn't have enough energy to participate in the games, contests and events that fill a week of outdoor fun at Camp Farwesta near Stewartsville, Missouri.

Eric went home thinking that he hadn't done enough to help his camper fully appreciate his week in the woods. Then, a couple of months later, he got an unexpected call from a representative of Camp Quality. The young camper that Eric has been a companion to had passed away during his freshman year of high school. His parents wanted to know if Eric could attend his funeral services.

The camper's home town wasn't that far away, so Eric agreed to attend the visitation even though he wasn't sure why the family had singled him out. He felt that he'd been little more than a chauffeur during his week as a companion.

When he arrived at the funeral home, Eric found a very long line of people waiting to pay their respects. He waited patiently, not sure what he'd say when he finally reached the boy's family at the other end. When the moment arrived, he shook the parent's hands and offered his condolences, mentioning in passing his connection to their son.

All of a sudden, the boy's mother lit up said, "Wait here!" leaving Eric confused about what she could possibly be getting. She returned with a copy of the memorial card that would be distributed at the funeral. On the back side, Eric instantly recognized a picture taken at Camp Quality during the boy's summer session. It turned out that the young man had a terrific experience and he couldn't stop talking about the friend he made in the big man who was his companion.

The parents couldn't thank Eric enough for showing their son such a wonderful time at camp only a few months before his death. Sometimes all the little things well-meaning people do for others make a truly huge impression.
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