A Holly Jolly Christmas

Posted: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 11:10 am
By: Doug Lund
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I hope you can handle one more story about Eureka, South Dakota’s Holly Hoffman, who survived the popular CBS reality show, “Survivor” finishing fourth out of all the contestants vying for a million dollar top prize.  Holly has since been pretty busy giving interviews and making personal appearances..including one at the Pizza Ranch in Hartford on Thursday which is where our paths crossed. 

Survivor star, Holly Hoffman, greets fans at Hartford Pizza Ranch

Survivor star, Holly Hoffman, greets fans at Hartford Pizza Ranch

She was there with her husband, State Representative, Charles Hoffman, along with Governor-elect, Dennis Daugaard signing autographs and picture-posing to raise money for the West Central D.A.R.E. program.  Thanks to the efforts my of old pal, Joe Prostrollo, the event also helped raise a few dollars for West Central Senior, Tucker Smith..our grandson.

On December 13th, Tucker was admitted to Avera with severe pain. A body scan revealed numerous dangerous blood clots that required immediate attention. Tucker spent several days in ICU and underwent three surgical procedures to remove the clots and have stents inserted in his vulnerable veins.

Tucker Smith manages a smile with his sister Tara in ICU

Tucker Smith manages a smile with his sister Tara in ICU

Everything went well but doctors had some bad news; Tucker, who has been an outstanding member of the West Central Trojans football team and a candidate for college scholarships, learned that he won’t be able to play football ever again; devastating news for a young man with such talent and passion for the game. But, as is so typical of Tucker, he has handled this disappointment with class and an optimistic attitude that other doors will open.

tucker tuesday

Just before he was released from the hospital, his friends and classmates at West Central held a benefit called Tucker Tuesday in which a sizeable sum was raised to ease the sting of a big hospital bill. Good kids!

Tucker WAS able to be at the Pizza Ranch for Holly’s appearance and was presented a Charley Brown-type Christmas tree bearing branches filled with cash. Thanks, Joe.

Holly and Tucker and me..oh my.

Holly and Tucker and me..oh my.

As for seeing and visiting with Holly in person; well, not only is she drop-dead gorgeous (A fact Linda wishes I’d stop repeating every five minutes)  but possesses that wonderful quality of “South Dakota niceness” genuinely delighted to visit with folks and share her amazing Nicaraguan survival story.

Now it’s time to dwell for a spell on another story that’s as old as Christmas itself, about the arrival of a child who was born to die so we might live. We can never repay a gift like that only rejoice and be glad in it.

Merry Christmas to you all!

5 Comments

  1. Deb says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DOUG..

  2. kathy says:

    Merry Chrsitmas Doug and keep up the good Blogs and sorry to hear about your grandson. Hope all goes well for him.

  3. Gary says:

    Merry Christmas Doug to you and yours

  4. Per Pål P says:

    Ahem…..I see you have traded your Viking Sweats to another color…. : (
    Our prayers are with Tucker…and that the “new door” will nothing short of fabulous..
    God Jul til alle….

  5. LeAnn says:

    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THIS OF YOUR GRANDSON. THE MORE PEOPLE KNOW THE MORE PRAYERS THERE WILL BE FOR HIM. PRAYER WORKS WONDERS!! BY THE WAY YOUR HAIR LOOKS GOOD!!!

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