A new foundation, formed after a North Barrington family’s deep personal loss, is getting ready to host its first fundraiser on Thursday of this week. One year after the sudden and tragic death of her husband, Solly, Sharyn DeLaurentis has found a way to help other children facing the loss of a parent. The Solly’s Way Foundation was inspired by the example Solly set in his own life. And we’re sharing Sharyn’s story, in her own words, for the latest guest post in our Good Works series here at 365Barrington.com.
Solly’s Way Foundation
by Sharyn DeLaurentis
I remember waking up on June 3, 2012. The sun was shining so brightly into our room that morning. I kissed Solly, and we started the day together like it was any other day. What I didn’t know was that this day would change my family forever.
Our plan was to participate in the Salvation Army Charities Motorcycle Run in Wisconsin. We were looking forward to spending a beautiful afternoon with friends and family. Suddenly and tragically, everything changed. Solly suffered from a rare and undetected heart defect that caused him to black out during the event.
I lost my best friend that afternoon.
After the initial shock and confusion of that terrible day, something became very clear to me. Solly’s death had obviously affected countless lives, and many of us were having difficulty coping with the finality of his absence. Still, no one was more impacted than our three children, Anthony, Natalie and Rianna. Losing a parent at a young age is clearly one of life’s most difficult challenges.
I have learned so many things this past year, about myself, about my children, my endearing family and ever so caring friends. It’s clear to me now that people are good and generous. People care and want to make a difference. This is where the idea of the Solly’s Way Foundation came about.
You see, it was always Solly’s way to respond to life’s challenges with strength and compassion. My friends and I made a conscious decision to try and follow in his footsteps.
Solly’s Way Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity, was launched in April of this year. Solly’s Way was established to provide college scholarships to high school seniors in Barrington, Lake Zurich and Wauconda who have lost a parent.
These three communities are important because Solly lived and worked in all of these areas throughout his life, and he felt a strong connection to the people and businesses he encountered.
On Thursday, July 18, Solly’s Way Foundation will kick off its first fundraising effort at Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 Northwest Highway in Barrington.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. with registration, lunch, open bar and a noon shot-gun tee off. Events throughout the day will include a Longest Drive Challenge, a Closest to the Pin Competition, an opportunity to Beat the Pro and a putting contest.
Our evening event will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction.
Dinner and dancing will start at 7, accompanied by the music of Tony Ocean.
A live auction begins at 8:30 p.m., featuring a presentation by Gino Saravino.
I hope you can join us.
Please visit SollysWay.org for registration details or for information on how to make a donation.
I am forever indebted to my large, extended family and countless friends who have supported — and continue to support –my children and me through this devastating experience. I am undoubtedly incredibly fortunate. But, I know the struggle that others are going through, and the shock of losing a spouse makes the future scary and uncertain.
If you know of a family who could benefit from a Solly’s Way Scholarship, please encourage them to visit our website and fill out an application. I know this would be Solly’s way of handling this challenge. And, because of him, it is our way.