Legacy of giving back to Rainbow Kidz honored
Special to Iredell Free News
In his 16 years of life, Timmy Belcher created many legacies.
Family, friendship, faith … all of these legacies continue to inspire and comfort those who knew and loved Timmy.
On Sunday, his legacy of giving to others was honored as Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Rainbow Kidz Ride & Run, which was created by Timmy shortly before he died of cancer in 2011.
Timmy, who is the son of Tim and Jodi Belcher and attended North Iredell High School, first connected with the Rainbow Kidz Pediatric Grief Counseling Program while he was a Hospice patient, Director Leigh Ann Darty recalled.
“He said when I was working with him, ‘My family is going to need you. My brother and sister are going to need you’ “ Darty said.
He was right – his siblings Adam and Lily received grief counseling support through Rainbow Kidz for several years after Timmy’s death.
It was Timmy’s vision to hold a Ride & Run event in support of Rainbow Kidz, and over the last decade that vision has created a legacy that truly stands in testament to the kind of person Timmy Belcher was.
“I think of Timmy every single day, as Rainbow Kidz has grown,” Darty said. “Because of his vision, almost a quarter of a million dollars has been raised for Rainbow Kidz. The life of Timmy Belcher lives on in every child we serve.”
That legacy of giving will begin a new chapter this year, with the establishment of the Timmy Belcher Memorial Scholarship. The first year of the scholarship has been sponsored by Nicholson Funeral Home, and will be awarded to a senior in Iredell-Statesville Schools.
“My ministry and mission has been to help people on their own grief journeys, and help them heal,” said Nicholson Funeral Home President Bill Brater. “We see the part the Rainbow Kidz program plays in that for the community, and we see the importance of what it is doing.”
Timmy’s brother Adam thanked his parents and family for their strength and love, and said he knows firsthand the difference Rainbow Kidz can make in the life of a grieving child.
“There are more kids out there than you think that have lost somebody,” he said, “and Rainbow Kidz can really have an impact.”
To learn more about Rainbow Kidz, visit www.HOIC.org.