For Jack: Butterfly Bonanza to raise money for Brain Tumor Foundation for Children
by Sally Litchfield, MDJ Features Editor
August 18, 2012 11:00 PM | 1874 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A photo of Jack taken on his Make-a-Wish trip, a cruise to Alaska with his family, sits next to the urn that held his ashes
A photo of Jack taken on his Make-a-Wish trip, a cruise to Alaska with his family, sits next to the urn that held his ashes
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Jack Gardner of east Cobb died Jan. 7, 2011, after battling brain cancer. On Aug. 24 and 25, the inaugural Jack’s Butterfly Bonanza will raise money for the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children.  A  collage of Jack with friends and family hangs in his old room.
Jack Gardner of east Cobb died Jan. 7, 2011, after battling brain cancer. On Aug. 24 and 25, the inaugural Jack’s Butterfly Bonanza will raise money for the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children.  A  collage of Jack with friends and family hangs in his old room.
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An older photo of the family: From left are Charlie, April, Bob, Tiffany, Jack and Mary.
An older photo of the family: From left are Charlie, April, Bob, Tiffany, Jack and Mary.
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In his 16 years, Jack Gardner of east Cobb made a lasting impression on people. Even after his death from brain cancer on Jan. 7, 2011, Jack continues to impact lives.

The inaugural Jack’s Butterfly Bonanza benefiting the Butterfly Fund of the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children will be held at Barnsley Gardens Resort at 597 Barnsley Gardens Road in Adairsville on Aug. 24 and 25. The family-friendly event combines an 18-hole golf tournament, 2-mile fun walk, auction and concert on the lawn featuring Sister Hazel and Emerson Hart of Tonic.

“We wanted to honor Jack by having a Jack Gardner Memorial Fund at the BTFC,” said Bob Gardner, Jack’s father. “Events such as this one raises money for the Butterfly Fund for the BTFC that is used for families going through a similar situation.”

Through Jack’s 6-year battle, the Gardner family found respite through BTFC, which provides financial and social support and information to families going through the rigors of caring for a child with a brain or spinal cord tumor. Describing his son as “a little larger than life,” Bob said, “Jack never met a stranger. He could talk to anyone. He befriended a lot of people we didn’t know about until he passed away.”

A typical teenager and often a jokester, Jack will be remembered as a friendly child who loved music and was passionate about his faith. After his diagnosis, Jack told his mother, Mary, “What’s the worst thing that could happen? If I’m allowed to stay here, I’m with you and if I die, I go to be with Jesus. Either way I win.”

Bob said, “Jack was a good disciple and good friend to a lot of people.”

Songwriter, guitarist and lead singer of Sister Hazel, Ken Block said, “The music is just where it starts for this band. We’re very pleased when our vehicle can call attention to worthy causes like (Jack’s Butterfly Bonanza).”

Block, who lost his brother to cancer, met the Gardner family through Jack’s sister, April. She worked as executive director of Sister Hazel’s childhood cancer charity, Lyrics for Life.

“If we can help families have some breathing room if they need it — that’s why we’re doing this. We know how important it was to us,” Bob said.

“Jack was a wonderful kid. The ripples from Jack’s life are going to go on in directions we can’t even imagine yet. The impact he has had is profound,” Block said.

To purchase tickets or make a donation, visit www.jacksevent.com. To learn more about BTFC, visit www.braintumorkids.org.
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