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WOWWW WHAT A YEAR… BYE 2011

As the new year rings in, the look back on how I spent my time in 2011 and how it got me to where I am today in 2012, and all the great things that have to look forward to in this new coming year. 2011 was one of the best years of my life as it marked the culmination of certain things in my life and a berth in the beginning in other things. But no matter what one thing definitely maintained throughout the course of 2011 and I know will continue wanted to 2012, and that is my unbelievable support structure of friends, family, and my favorite the community. If I ever had any doubt that any people were behind what I was doing in my mission that I was trying to succeed in both personally with my own personal physical goals and most importantly my goals of the foundation and trying to raise more money, all of you reassured the fact to me that all of you are 100% supportive of everything I’m doing and that is the best feeling in the world, and if anything else is something that gets me out of bed every morning. Needless to say, is definitely a year I will never forget, as it was historical in several aspects to me. Most importantly our fourth annual event where we raised over $425,000 and had over 1000 people attend the event at the Hafif Estate.  As I sat up on stage that night giving my speech to everybody had many emotions running through my mind. And sometimes as your fundraising and putting all your time and effort into one thing, you have your doubts, your doubts on whether or not what you’re doing is being appreciated and what you’re doing to help other people is worth it.  Those doubts one away pretty quickly as I sat up on stage that night and saw 1000 people all eyes in listening to what I had to say. Then that moment in my world stopped and everything went into slow motion I had a really good chance that think about why I do what I do, and how at that very moment it was all worth it. To see 1000 people there not just to support me but to support a cause, to support a population of people that’s in need of help. I came to find out that I wasn’t the only one who got it, the only one who understood it, there was thousands of people there that knew exactly what I. Got sometimes we just need to lean out and reach out to help somebody, and everybody there that I understood that very thing to. That’s how I knew this was all worth it, all the time and effort, all the manpower, all the hours put in, because no matter what at that moment in time I wouldn’t have been doing anything else other than trying to raise money to help other people. And I like to think we did a pretty darn good job of doing so, as we all helped create a record-setting night for the foundation. It made our foundation’s mission extend much farther beyond what we could have ever thought for this coming year in 2012, with having the opportunity with being able to help out more individuals with SCI than we could have ever expected. You all made that possible, and in doing so have gotten the foundation’s name out on a more national scale as we are finally getting the recognition that we all deserve in this community. In 2011 we witnessed the foundation grow far bigger than we would’ve ever thought of, as the foundation held court and made a big run in the vivint.com philanthropy voting competition this past summer, as we almost took home the prize of hundred thousand dollars by winning the Pacific region. It just came to show me all the people that are behind the foundation that were voting every single day in trying to make this dream become a reality.  Some of you may recall the huge honor that the foundation received at the beginning of summer from ABC 7. In culmination of the Opera Winfrey show coming to an end on ABC, she launched a program called pay it forward in which it promotes individuals in society or community groups in society to raise money and awareness for a particular cause. Our foundation was nominated to help receive the $7000 reward from one of our own SCI friends that we help, Chris Siebel. Chris nominated us to 87 by sending in a video where he explained how the foundation has helped him get back to being himself once again.  ABC 7 gave me a call and said that they would like to come in and do some filming at the Clermont Club, because we were one of the nominees that they highlighted to potentially be a $7000 recipient. After the two-hour filming session, many questions asked and responded to, the news crew brought the entire staff of the club and my family together and presented us a $7000 award is one of the winners of the Pay it Forwardcampaign.  Needless to say, we were all shocked and blown away in quite honored by such a reward. This yet again got the foundation on a national scale and was seen by thousands of people across the nation. But the experience didn’t just stop there. A few days after the segment showed on national television, I received an e-mail from somebody within the ABC 7 Studios broadcast team, their very own and my respected idol Rob Fukuzaki.  Rob is the local sports reporter at ABC 7, and he is the host of his own show Sportszone. Rob is somebody who I have been watching for years as he provides much analysis of our local hometown teams. Rob saw the segment of Pay it Forward in the studio, and had heard that I was attending the University of LaVerne to become a sports broadcaster. Ironically enough Rob is a huge prestigious figure on campus at Laverne, is he graduated there himself. Rob invited me into the studios to sit on set, during one of the recordings and live segments of his Sportszone program. I had quite the experience as I got to see Rob in action, and what everything was like behind the scenes. This only further entice me to look forward to working hard and getting my degree so I am able to follow my dreams of hopefully someday becoming a sports broadcaster myself.  At a and yet even after that are the foundations recognition didn’t even stop there.  My dad and I were contacted by Southwest Airlines with some great news. My dad had submitted a few applications for the past several years of trying to get a story about the foundation put into Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine. Finally our voices heard and we got our big break. Southwest agreed to writing a story about my dads company in conjunction with the foundation, and how his company and the foundation are making a difference in the community by helping other people. The article was written, after a photo shoot with my dad and I was taken by representatives from Southwest. Are article was submitted and published in every seat back pocket across the nation, on every Southwest plane for the entire month of November. Many of you might’ve seen the article. It was perfect. And if anything, continued to get more and more exposure across the nation for all the great things that we are doing to help other people here in our little community. That year that will be remembered forever was personally highlighted by a family trip to Lake Powell, on a houseboat for the first time since my accident.  I didn’t know how I would do and what many would consider to be solitary confinement on a 75 foot houseboat.  Did I mention that it was out in the middle of nowhere in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world? Yet I guess it wasn’t so bad to be in solitary confinement. We spent 10 days on the houseboat, where I have a lot of time to reflect about how far I’ve come, where I’ve gotten to, who I am as a person, what my aspirations are in life, how many people the foundation has helped, how much my life has changed in four short years, but most importantly how happy and proud I am of just finally coming to accept who I am as a person, what my role is in society and the fact that people are accepting of that role and that person today. That more than anything is one of the best feelings in the world when I wake up and I know that people are accepting of who I am no matter what my condition or state is. And if anything through this entire process I have found the true me. And that person with no cockiness involves, is one of the strongest and mentally powerful people that I know. I say this with confidence with knowing that I can overcome anything that is thrown at me in life and that life is simply quite easy when you break it down to what it really is all about. Life is about being happy, living life to its fullest, not being content with what you have, just simply appreciating everything around you and never giving up, focusing on your dreams, achieving your goals, settingprecedence, creating standards, carving new paths,  being innovative, reaching out to others in need, but the most important thing of all being confident and comfortable with who you are as a person and knowing that that is the best thing in the entire world. You are you, and there is nothing more that anybody can ask for because you are somebody great, somebody I can go out and make a difference, somebody that has something to offer to the world that nobody else does, and that’s what your unique. God didn’t choose me to be in this situation because he was punishing me for something, he is using me because he will find glory through me. That’s why people are put through these situations. Things in life happen for a reason and it doesn’t necessarily make sense at first, until we are slapped in the face and we have a huge reality check of the big picture of life and how everything in life seems to help us further our pursuit of happiness. So what have I figured out after another full year of my life come and gone again? I guess that my situation is it really that bad. Am I doing all the things that I would want to at this age and stage my life? No, not necessarily, but that doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me more is the fact that I have the opportunity to wake up every single day and go out and affecting change somebody’s life. That’s far more important than any other personal achievement that may obtain, and it’s more fulfilling than anything in the entire world that I have the opportunity to help others heal.  After several country music concerts, a country music benefit concert for the Be Perfect Foundation, several trips to the lake, nights out on the town with friends, nights at home with my family, speaking engagements to people of all ages, high school football games, Angels games or should I say Red Sox games, Dodger games, and what I’m most thankful for these days Laker games, holidays with the family, off roading out at Havasu, and every other little experience and moment that I will hold onto forever spent with my family and friends throughout the year, I like to think I live the perfect life. Under the perfect circumstances, the perfect situation, the perfect community, the perfect support structure, the perfect recovery, the perfect foundationand simply just the perfect mindset and heart full of appreciation, gratitude, sincerity,  honor, praise, respect and motivation, towards all of you who help get me up out of bed every morning.  I love you all and always remember to be perfect.  I look forward to an unbelievable 2012 shared with all of you, let’s go take another step forward in all of our lives and our pursuit of walking again someday together.  Happy holidays. HAL JR.
LUKE 5:24 “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”