Help Celebrate! |


I am a mother of three, sharing my journey of hope and survival following the loss of our son...

Help Celebrate!

By Carolina Sonshine on 10/21/13 23:24
Charlotte Observer

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“One of the stars in my sky has gone supernova, burning out without warning; his intensity, his exuberance, his energy, it’s all gone…




The urge to jump in the bottomless black hole left behind is overwhelming, instinctive, it’s so hard for me to resist.




Not so long ago, my family was just like yours.  We were ordinary people, living ordinary lives.




Until one sunny June day, everything changed.  Forever.




We never got to say goodbye.




I never dreamed one simple decision could cause such devastation…or such crippling pain.




I didn’t think it could happen to me.




Holidays and birthdays, life moments-large and small-we feel the ache of his absence with every breath we take.




The silence within our home is deafening; the quiet leaves no room for doubt or wishful thinking…




Day and night, night and day, his vacant chair stares back at me, reflecting the empty place in our lives, the hollow space in my heart.




I hope and pray this never happens to you.” –tg-10/18/13




Last Friday, I willingly opened my broken heart and allowed the students and faculty of Butler HS to have the briefest of glimpses inside. I fiercely protect myself in this regard, seldom letting anyone look upon the darkness or feel the full extent of anguish I keep carefully locked away.




On this occasion, however, I made an exception and spoke a variation of the above four times in fairly rapid succession.




It’s one thing to put pen to paper and privately pour out my soul, but another matter entirely to lay it bare onstage before thousands of eyes.




I scarcely made it through the last time, referring to my ‘saving face’ index card repeatedly as I struggled to finish strong…




You might wonder, why would I do that to myself?  Because when it comes to challenging our teens to stop and think about the consequences of distracted driving, I’ll gladly endure it if it increases the likelihood that someday, you won’t.


As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, the second annual State Farm initiative “Celebrate My Drive” is underway.  I am thrilled to say a number of schools in our area have registered to take part in this nationwide effort to promote safe driving with teens and adults, while competing to win grant money for their respective schools.  And out of the 3,300+ schools registered nationally, the school with the most safe driving commitments will also earn a private concert with Kelly Clarkson!




Brian’s high school, David W. Butler in Matthews, NC and the Butler HS DREAM Team have taken this initiative to heart; they have been working tirelessly since school began, but especially hard over the last month to bring awareness and commitment to this issue, with special emphasis on distracted driving.



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Today I am asking you for your help…  Please go to the Celebrate My Drive website, and commit to safe driving on behalf of David W. Butler HS in Matthews, NC once a day, every day between now and October 26th.  It is a very simple process (see outline below), there will be no follow up marketing efforts from State Farm (unless you request them) and it will take less than a minute of your time each day.  Please, please, pass this request on to your family and friends and ask them to help too.  We need as many people to get involved as possible to make this happen.




Every commitment counts and you CAN make a difference.  Together, I know we can create a ripple so great that it becomes a tidal wave of support and even more importantly, safer driving habits…




  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Make a Commitment” in the upper left hand corner
  3. Enter in your information (email, DOB)

·         North Carolina


·         Affiliation (Student, Teacher, Parent, Community Member)


·         City for David W. Butler HS is Matthews


·         Click next and fill in the bubble next to David W. Butler High School


During the week of October 18th-26th, you can make a safe driving commitment up to once a day.   And please ask your family & friends to do the same!  Help Butler promote teen driver safety, win a $100,000 grant and a concert from Grammy award winner, Kelly Clarkson.


Thank you for your support and commitment!








“The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”-John Mason Brown




Tammy will update her blog twice weekly…


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