Will and Ellen Bennett, ages 8 and 6, have a smile that lights up a room, just like their mom Linda Bennett. They lost Linda after a four-year battle with breast cancer.
Thanks to funding from the Sharon L. Bassett Foundation, these children and their father, Patrick, can always see Linda's smile and hear her voice on a professional videotape that she recorded on a very good day just before she died.
"Linda left important messages for all of us on this tape," Patrick said. "This is the best gift the foundation could have given us."
The foundation did other special things for the Bennett family when Linda was still alive. Linda's Pay It Forward volunteers happened to be two sports celebrities - Jeff Saturday, center for the Indianapolis Colts, and his buddy Adam Meadows, then of the Denver Broncos, along with their extraordinary wives, Karen and Courtney.
"Our whole family met up with them at a restaurant just weeks after the Colts won the Super Bowl, which made the whole experience pretty exciting," Patrick said.
Besides the traditional PIF basket, the Saturdays and Meadows presented the Bennetts with an all-expense-paid vacation to Disney World. "Even though Linda was pretty sick at the time, this was the best vacation our family ever had," Patrick said.
Patrick and his children participated in the Pay It Forward program last year and are doing it again this year. "I definitely believe we need to appreciate every day that we have together," Patrick added. "And we should pay it forward whenever we get the opportunity."