Within just a few days of being notified regarding our selected images, I heard through Facebook that a friend and classmate from High School lost her husband to cancer in August after 13 years of marriage, leaving her widowed at 48 with two young boys, the youngest of which has Down Syndrome. I'm told Jeff Dunbar never smoked or drank. I haven't seen or spoken to Dawn (Butler) Dunbar in 30 years, and didn’t know her husband from Adam, but none of that matters, really. Dawn was, and will always be, a member of our tribe.
When we heard a Memorial Fund had been started for Dawn and her boys, Vic and I talked about what we could do. My first thought was to donate our proceeds from the sale of prints at the Heller Homestead Exhibit this month to Dawn’s benefit. We consider ourselves blessed but still have bills we can't pay, so coming up with money to donate is difficult, no matter how worthy the cause.... and yet I was struck by the coincidence that this moment of need comes at a time when we've been provided with an opportunity we wouldn’t otherwise have, allowing us to use whatever gift we’ve been given to serve Dawn and her boys in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
My second thought was how well and good that will be if there are any proceeds from sales at the Heller Homestead Gallery, but there's no guarantee we'll actually sell anything. So we’re going a step further and offering any image on our website, with proceeds from all sales from now until October 14th going to the Dawn (Butler) Dunbar Memorial Fund. Old barns may not be your thing, but we’ve updated the website this week and will continue to do so. Please browse our galleries, share the link to this site with your network, and help us come alongside Dawn and her boys at a time in their lives when they desperately need more than our prayers.
Turns out Dawn’s husband was a farmer. I didn’t find that out until after we decided to dedicate sales from the Barn Tour exhibit to her benefit. You can call it coincidence, if you choose. Heck, I might even agree, if it were the only one.