Saxton family turns tragedy into blessingsBy JAMIE PATTERSON,
The Ricky Saxton family has been able to show love, assist several families and offer support within the community thanks to the annual benefit held in his memory.
For the past five years, the Saxton family has held both softball and golf tournaments in memory of the late Ricky Saxton, who was tragically murdered several years ago. But Saxton’s daughter Stacey Milner said there has been a silver lining despite the tragedy that hit her family during that difficult time.
“Our tragedy was so unexpected, but yet we should still give and love,” Milner said. “I asked God to let me not be angry but rather share how amazing God is through this tragedy.”
Recently, the grandchildren of Saxton put together and distributed 160 gift bags to the residents of Oasis Health and Rehabilitation thanks to the money raised at the fifth annual Ricky Saxton benefit. Each bag contained toiletries, socks and other tokens of love, as well as Bible scripture, a message of love and a photograph of Saxton on the front of the bag.
“We have done a lot over the past four years, but this was my favorite thing to do,” Milner said. “The residents were so appreciative.”
Milner was extremely proud of her own eleven-year-old daughter Lake, who was very eager to distribute the bags, visit with residents and share the love of God.
“It does me good to see Lake experiencing God first-hand do all these amazing things despite what we have been through,” Milner said. “We wanted the grandkids to see and understand why we do Pop’s benefit every year. He loved people, and we want to tell people how much we love them too. It doesn’t have to be all sad. There are so many ways we can do good things.”
As the Saxton family visited the Oasis residents, there was also time for prayer and fellowship.
Milner is grateful for the many opportunities the funds raised through the benefit have been given back to the community.
“Every penny raised is given back to this community,” Milner said. “Over the last four years, we have been able to help several families, pay bills for single mothers, help families with school supplies and uniforms, gift cards to many families out of work or dealing with a loss and more.”
Ricky Saxton loved Christmas and children so when the need arises, particularly during the holiday season, those needs are met.
“Everybody we help, I write a letter explaining why are doing what we are doing, and why it would have moved Daddy,” Milner said. “It has been therapy for me too because I can write what I want to say.”
The last benefit was a huge success with over 20 golf teams competing in a tournament, as well as a large number of sponsors.
“It is great to have these funds to make a difference,” Milner said. “God had a plan, and I feel like His plan was to give us an opportunity to show His love. Knowing and seeing that makes it worth it.”