Kaiser's Pavilion

by Bensiamin

Chapter 13

Jerrod heard the bedroom door open, and the dogs go out, and knew Jackson was taking them out to pee. What a guy! He rolled over and pulled Roger back to spoon up against his chest. This was his favorite position, smelling Roger's hair and feeling his warmth radiate against his chest, belly and thighs. He remembered kissing the back of Roger's neck before he fell asleep again. He found himself in the same position when he awoke an hour later. The clock told him it was time for them to get up.

He kissed Roger's ear and then tickled it with his tongue, softly licking inside. He felt rather than heard Roger grumble, but he knew he was awake when he felt the soft hand on the side of his face and the whispered, "I love you, too, liebling."

When they walked into the kitchen, David, Jackson and JC were all sitting at the kitchen table with coffee cups before them. Kaiser and Chloe were under the table looking well fed, one with a chin on Jackson's foot and the other on JC's. Jackson looked up and grinned, then said, "I suppose it would be inappropriate to make a comment about the Bliss Twins?"

Jerrod scrunched his face and replied, "Like the one you just did?"

Jackson laughed back at him and said, "Yeah, like that one. Let me get you two some orange juice and then some coffee. How's that?"

He got two nods from the teenagers as they sat down and smiled at David and JC.

JC had an inquisitive smile on his face. "Bliss Twins is new to me? I can guess what it means and where it comes from. Should I not go there?"

"That would be a good thing this early," Roger said. "Jackson has this bad habit about trying to embarrass us first thing in the morning."

"No, no!" Jackson commented as he placed two glasses of orange juice before them, "It's not about embarrassment. It's a complimentary moniker referring to what I presume to have been great sex the night before that results in you two looking so peaceful, relaxed and otherwise blissed out on mornings like this."

"Like this?" Jerrod looked at him dismissively. "So much for what you know. There was no sex last night. We were too exhausted after yesterday and last night. We just crashed."

He looked over at JC. "So, as you can tell, your son is really good at a lot of stuff, but not everything."

JC cracked up as Jackson set down two cups of coffee. "I've known that all along. However, it warms the cockles of a father's heart to watch someone else point it out so effectively."

Jackson looked over at his dad as he sat back down and replied, "Ha, ha, dad. You do understand that the subject behind the comment is gay sex, right?"

JC looked right back at him. "What else would it be in this house? Also, you do remember that your uncle was gay, and I knew a little about being gay before I got connected with all of you. And anyway, who cares? Gay sex? Straight sex? As long as it was good enough to result in being blissed out, I'd say that's a total win."

David cleared his throat and then added, "Probably time to change the subject. What would you two like for breakfast? I've got sausage already cooked. It'd be pretty easy to add either French toast or pancakes to it."

"Oooh! French toast with cinnamon, please," Roger said, looking over at Jerrod with a plaintive smile.

Jerrod nodded. "Sounds great to me." He sipped his coffee and then sighed. "This tastes great." He looked at Jackson and JC and then added, "What are you guys up to today?"

"You mean while you're at the park with the dogs and Sean and his mom?"

Jerrod nodded and Jackson went on. "We'll be looking at houses with Dad."

It turned out that JC wanted a second look at two he'd already seen, but this time with David along, and two others that the realtor said had just been listed for him to see.

"Are you getting close? Have you seen anything you like?" Roger asked between sips of coffee.

"Well, so far none are older homes with the character that my place in Seattle or this house has. The two I want to look at again are 60's or 70's homes that have been updated. The other question is the old real estate one about location. I want to be close to you guys, but not so close I'm like on top of you. I also want simple access to go down and see my sister in McMinnville without having to deal with lots of traffic."

"Makes sense," Jerrod responded. "I don't think you have to worry about being on top of us." He looked at Jackson across the table and added, "He fits right in, right?"

He saw an evil grin break on Jackson's face and then he replied, "Well, you know what they say, don't you?"

"Maybe I don't?"

"Well, you've heard us listen to The Car Guys on public radio, right? The two Italian mechanics from Massachusetts who are great mechanics and incredibly funny?"

Jerrod nodded and took another sip of coffee as David slid the plates of French toast in front of him and Roger.

"Well," he continued, "they were talking about the best family relationships… but, you know. They're part of a big Italian family, but they said that what they'd figured out is that the secret to success in family relations is having at least two county lines between you and your mother-in-law!"

Jackson started laughing, and Jerrod and Roger couldn't help giggling in response. Finally, Jerrod swallowed and said, "And how does that apply here?"

"Well," Jackson replied, "If it's two county lines for in laws, then it ought to be at least one county line for parents, don't you think?" Jackson was laughing again, softly.

Jerrod looked at David who rolled his eyes, and then at JC, who just smiled back at him knowingly.

He looked back at Jackson and said, "Aren't you worried about insulting your father?"

"What? No. He's incredibly hard to insult." He turned to look at his dad and grabbed his arm, "Right, Dad?"

JC just smiled again, and Jackson went on. "Here's the thing. We live in Sellwood and it's in Multnomah County, as I'm sure you know. One of the places dad is looking at is in Lake Oswego, across the river and a little south of here. Lake Oswego is in Clackamas County. A county line… get it?" He started laughing again.

David finally intervened and said, "I think that you had to have heard the Car Guys tell their story in order to get the humor, Jackson?"

"Really?" Jackson looked puzzled. "It seems pretty funny to me." He looked at his dad again.

JC just looked back with a smile to humor him.

David went on, to change the subject, "Don't forget that Will and Sam are organizing a pizza celebration party for the event team this evening." He looked at Roger and added, "Your parents will be there and so will Matt and Nate's mom and Jessica's parents too. They said to be there before six o'clock in case last night's event makes the news. So, plan accordingly."

Sean and his mom were already at the park when they arrived, and happily for all it still hadn't started to rain. After the usual greetings, Roger and Sean went to work on some retrieving with Chloe while Jerrod and Sean's mom walked Kaiser to the end of the park and back.

"I hardly got to talk to Sean last night after the event. How'd it go?"

"Well, you saw how it started? He ran right up to you and Roger and Matt and Jessica, he was so happy and excited."

"That's what I'm getting at. He was so excited. I mean, we were all so excited for him, too, and he played so well and then blew everyone away with his free throw performance. It was just amazing."

"It was! It was amazing to me, and I've seen how hard he's practiced. But you know how patients with CP can be, how excited and animated they can be and then how hard it is for them to communicate what they're feeling. That's why after he'd thanked you guys, I knew it was time to take him home and let him decompress."

"I was pretty sure that's what happened. I mean why he was gone so soon. In a way it was too bad because we all got interviewed by a reporter from KGW, one of the local TV stations, and the reporter was really into the dogs and the patients. He asked a lot of questions about Kaiser and Chloe and talked to Michael and Nate a lot too. He asked about Sean as well."

She smiled sweetly and said, "That's wonderful to know, but you and I both know as excited as he was last night it probably wouldn't have been that positive. It was hard for him to calm down enough to get to sleep last night, but he woke up this morning much better, and was almost joking about it."


"Yes, well… I said almost joking. You know how he jokes. You have to know him to realize he's making a light or humorous comment."

Jerrod nodded. "I noticed he's not wearing his Air Jordans."

"Oh my God, no." She grinned at him. "He's all worried he'll get them dirty or stained. They're suddenly the most important thing he owns. Well, right after the signed basketball."

"Has he been shooting with the basketball?"

"Of course. He was out at the basket this morning right after breakfast. I knew he was back to normal when he came in and said he'd have made ten out of ten if he'd had that ball last night!"

Jerrod chuckled. "That is funny. Wait till I tell Warren. He'll think it's hilarious. I'm guessing Roger's already been talking to him about how he did, but he's so sensitive he'll have kept it light and non-threatening. I will too."

"Do you want to know what Sean would appreciate more than anything? Well, more than anything except for being here now with Kaiser and Chloe."


"If you and Roger would come over for a little while when we're done with the dogs and shoot some baskets with him using his new basketball. I think it'll be easier to talk to him about basketball and how he played and shot free throws if that's what you're actually doing."

Jerrod looked at her with new respect. "David keeps telling Roger that he should study psychology. I think you've already got a degree. That's a terrific idea. I should have thought of it."

Sean's mom looked at him contemplatively and then said, "Roger should study psychology. He's a natural. What about you?"

They were getting near where Roger and Sean were throwing the ball for Chloe, and Jerrod looked at her and said, "I'm still not sure. My parents put all this pressure on me about going to law school or medical school. I just haven't worked it out."

"Have you asked yourself what you like to do? What you get the most satisfaction from? Where your passion is?"

Jerrod grinned at her. "I told you that you were already a psychologist!"

She smiled back at him knowingly. "I think if you answer those questions honestly, you'll find one thing is in each answer and that's the patients. It's the same for Roger, but his approach is more like therapy. Your's is something clinical. You should talk to David about it. I'm told he's better at this kind of thing than I am."

She grinned widely and they walked up to the two boys and Chloe. "Guess what, Sean?"

He looked at his mom with a happy smile and anticipation on his face and said, "What?"

"A little birdie just told me that if you invite Jerrod and Roger over to our house they'll probably come over and shoot some baskets with you if you let them use your new basketball?"

"Really?" A look of wonder spread over his face as he looked back and forth between his two friends.

"You have to invite them, though. They're too polite to impose."

"Will you? Will you come and shoot some baskets with me… with my new ball?" He paused and then added, "I tried it out his morning and it's really cool. It improves your percentages!"

Everyone was at Will and Sam's house well in advance of six o'clock, and they had a dozen different pizzas from Bellagio's in a variety of flavors. They also had a large screen TV mounted on the wall in their living room, so it was the perfect place to watch the news. The reporter had called Jackson in the early afternoon to confirm the human-interest approach to the story and that it would run on the six o'clock and ten o'clock news that night. Jackson called Warren and a few other parents, confident that most of the parents would know about it by the end of the afternoon. Jerrod called Sean's mom.

The pizzas were served as the news began, and the debate began about when in the news program it would appear. Jackson told them all to plan on it being in the second half, and JC added that it was likely to be at the end.

"Why would they do that?" Roger's mom seemed genuinely serious as she asked the question. "First, because they're got to cover the national and local news first, then do the weather," JC replied. "And then comes the sports, especially since it's a Saturday night. A lot of the news won't be good, so ending with a positive story is always a good strategy."

Little did they understand how close to the end it would be. At 6:26 one of the announcers said, "Now, here's a story everyone will want to know about. You've all heard about Doernbecher Children's Hospital and the wonderful care they provide. Did you know that they have an amazing therapy dog program and wonderful dog handlers all to help patients recover in the best way possible? Our reporter Steve Fellows was at an event last night that profiled therapy dogs and patients."

The piece ran for three minutes, and ended with just enough time for the announcers to sign off.

"Boy, that was close! That's all I can say," Kim observed!

"And it was so short," Eric added.

"Well, it is a news program, and they've only got so much time," Eric's dad replied. "I'll ask you all this question: did the piece cover the main issues and capture all the main points of the event regardless of how long… or short it was?"

The discussion went back and forth, finally settling on the reality that the answer to both parts of Will's question was, yes. Steve had set the story up almost neutrally about the hospital, picking up Jackson's point that they'd overlooked the role the pavilion played for the therapy dogs and only mentioning it once. Most of the focus had been on the event coming about because of the ground swell of support from patients and their parents, and then donors to the auction, to raise money to replace the pavilion. That was all great.

"I think the other really important thing Steve did," Will continued, "was focus on the therapy dogs by talking to Jerrod and Roger about Kaiser and Chloe, and then switching over to the patients by talking to Michael and Nate about the role Kaiser played in their recovery and how they were now playing basketball. Isn't that really the central human-interest part of the story?"

"It sure is," Alice added, "and then he did such a nice job talking about the patients and the basketball game they played." She looked at Michael and Nate, "you two did so well talking about recovering and getting back to normal so you could play sports."

"And don't forget that they both talked about the coaches rotating all the players on the team," Matt added, "so everyone got to play. I thought Jessica did a great job of explaining how important it was to have everyone play regardless of their ability. Of course, I'm a little biased about that part."

"You know what the main missing part was?" Kim looked around and then continued, "Sean should have been there to be interviewed about winning the free throw contest. Where was he?"

Jerrod and Roger looked at each other and smiled, and then Roger said, "We spent some time with Sean and his mom this afternoon. He did exceptionally well. But he's got CP, and he's really excitable. Most people watching think the amazing part was that he did as well as he did with his limp and one bad arm. But he gets really excited, and managing that so he kept focus for the game when he was playing, and then for the free throw contest, that was the really amazing part."

He nodded at Jerrod, who continued. "I talked to his mom about that today, and she gave him a few minutes to thank everyone at the end and then took him home. He was just so wound up that she said he wouldn't have done well in front of a camera." He paused and looked around at everyone in the room. "She invited us over to shoot hoops with him after we worked the dogs at the park this afternoon, and she was right. We could talk basketball with him, like how he played last night and how he handled the free throw contest, while we shot hoops with him. And guess what? Because we were playing ball, he didn't get all excited. He was just talking basketball."

He looked at Jessica and Matt. "I lay that down to you two and how much you've worked with him to improve his skills and focus on his game." He paused and looked around. "Do all of you know that either Jessica or Matt have met with Sean at least once a week all winter to work on drills and basic shooting skills?"

Most of the adults in the group didn't know that, and were duly impressed. "And by the way," he continued, looking at Jessica and Matt, "Besides having nice things to say about you two coaching him, we shot hoops this afternoon with his new autographed basketball. And guess what? He thinks it increases his percentages!"

The party broke up around eight o'clock and after getting back to David and Jackson's house, they all settled in the living room with a glass of wine apiece. The conversation turned to JC's house hunting and how it had gone.

"One of the two places that just got listed got my attention. It's an older house in decent shape in Lake Oswego." He paused for effect and then added, "it's over one county line, so that part's out of the way."

Jackson still thought it was funny, and everyone else went along with the joke. "So, anyway, it's a little smaller than what I've got in Seattle, two bedrooms and two baths, but the flooring is original, and it hasn't been remodeled. Jackson, you liked it, right?"

Jackson nodded. "Yeah, the kitchen looked like it's got the original cabinets, but that wouldn't be a difficult upgrade. The bathrooms could be modernized too, but its got character. It's got a decent sized garage. And the best part is that it's in the old part of town and only two blocks to a supermarket in one direction, and only two blocks in the other direction to the liquor store!"

David laughed at that. "We must have our priorities straight, that's for sure."

"So, what are you going to do? I hear it's a strong market," Roger said.

"It is, and the place is good enough as long as it passes inspection and there aren't any hidden surprises. I made an offer contingent on the inspection. I'll put my house on the market when I get back."

"Wow! This is for real, isn't it?" Jerrod smiled and then added, "I think that is so cool, that you're moving down here."

"Me too! I don't want to drag this out, and I retire at the end of April. The Seattle market is really strong, so it shouldn't be hard at all to sell my place." He looked at David and Jackson, "If I can't get an extended date to leave, I may have to move in here for a while."

"I figured that was the plan, dad. You'll sell your place for more than the asking price of this one. You should plan on staying with us while you get the painting and upgrades done, and then you don't have a ton of pressure on you about timing. You may have to store your furniture and stuff for a while, though." He looked at David. "Don't you think that makes sense?"

"Perfect sense. Remember when we bought this place? We were still living in Newberg, and we were able to get everything done, the painting and the decorating before we moved. It made life so much simpler."

"Yeah. Too bad we don't know a decorator like Marcia Higgins. She did so much to help us out. From helping us pick our colors and wallpaper to even finding the right kind of furniture." He looked at JC and added, "She was the wife of a professor at Lewis and Clark, and she's the one that found the dining room table for us. She was just a wonderful person."

JC smiled and said, "If you find another one like her, let me know."

He turned to Jerrod and Roger. "I'm heading back to Seattle tomorrow. It sure was great being here and being part of that great event, you put together last night. I know you had a whole team working on it, but I was totally impressed with the way you organized it."

Jerrod and Roger acknowledged the compliment and thanked him back for coming down for the weekend to be a part of it. "Hey," he grinned back at them, "you two are pretty much like family to me. I mean I've got nieces and nephews down in McMinnville, but you guys are a special part of the family to me." He changed the subject and asked, "Is Michael heading back to Pendleton tomorrow? I heard him and Nate talking last night about him going to college here next year so they can be together. They seem like a pretty great couple."

"They are," Roger replied. "They've gotten closer and closer, and it's almost like the distance between them, and the challenge that makes for their relationship has actually been good for it." He looked at Jerrod, "Don't you agree?"

"Absolutely. They've both had to get real about a bunch of stuff they could have ignored otherwise. And it helps that they've both got parents that understand and support them. I wish we could take them down to the train station tomorrow afternoon, but we've got our shift at the hospital, so Matt and Jessica are doing it."

"What do you expect at the hospital tomorrow?" David was watching them as he asked the question.

"What do you mean? It's our usual Sunday therapy shift."

"Well, I'm thinking you two will be some kind of heroes for a whole bunch of people tomorrow, like the dog handlers, for instance. A lot of people will now be aware of the effort you've been putting out to get the pavilion replaced."

Roger glanced at Jerrod and said, "I hadn't thought of that. I guess we should be ready for something like that, but I hope it's low key and no one makes a big deal out of it."

"Well, prepare yourselves," Jackson replied. "You were on the news tonight on TV, and most of it was about therapy dogs and patients at the hospital, so plan on a lot of people noticing and talking to you about it." He paused and then added, "Lucky for you guys, the admin dude won't be there because he works Monday to Friday. And I'll be calling him Monday morning to follow up about next steps."

On Monday morning at work, Jackson got a call from the hospital PR person who had attended the fundraising event. He said he'd written up a report and included photos and sent it on to administration.

"Thanks for letting me know," Jackson said. "I guess that means I should call the Director of Administration and schedule a follow up meeting?"

"That's what I'd recommend." And that's what Jackson did. And that's why Jerrod and Roger were with him in the Director's office on Wednesday afternoon.

After the initial greetings, the Director got right to the point. "I received a positive report from our Public Relations representative who attended the Friday night event. He included a number of very nice photographs."

"He told me he thought they got some good photos when we talked on Friday night."

"They were good. They focused on the patients and on the dogs in the dog therapy program, and that's highly gratifying given the hospital's programs."

"I'm sure his report also covered the auction at the end of the event that raised money for the pavilion. Isn't that right," Jackson asked.

"Yes, as a matter of fact it did. However, let me say that while your event raised what must appear to you to be a significant amount of money, it is far from what the replacement cost of a new pavilion would be. You must know that the old pavilion was essentially a wood structure put up by volunteers as an interim solution."

Before he could continue, Jackson interrupted him. "If you would, stop right there for a minute. Have you looked at the costs? How do you know what they'd be?"

"Well, a replacement wood structure would probably be something you could buy at at a home improvement store for five or six thousand dollars. However, that is not the real problem. An appropriate replacement would not only cost much more, but as I'm sure you appreciate, there's much more to it than just cost. A new pavilion would have to be designed to be integrated into the construction project plans. It would require it's own specifications and engineering drawings, and those would have to be incorporated into the general contractor's project plans. That's not even discussing permits and approvals and the like. I'm afraid it's just too late to add it to the project plan."

Jackson could see the crestfallen expression on Jerrod and Roger's faces.

The Director went on. "None of which is to say that we haven't learned from this experience, nor that the efforts all of you young people put forth were not commendable. They were. In fact, they were highly commendable. You raised the hospital's awareness level about the dog therapy program and how important it is to patients. Your event not only profiled the dogs in the program but showed the results of the world class care we provide in how patients recover and move forward in life. It was all very commendable, but the simple fact is that it's just too late to add something this complex to the current construction project."

Jackson stood up and said, "Thank you for meeting with us. As you can guess, not only is what you just told us not what we hoped to hear, but I have to say to you that it appears you are trying to turn this into a positive public relationship outcome for the hospital while ignoring the underlying problem. These young men and their team now have over five thousand dollars that was raised for the specific purpose of replacing the pavilion. Given what you just said about it being too late to add something this complex, we will need to consider our options."

He looked at Jerrod and Roger who appeared a little stunned but were also beginning to get angry, and used his eyes to motion to the door. They all got up and walked to the door where the Director thanked them for the meeting.

Jackson looked at him directly and said, "I will be back in touch with you shortly. As I said, we have the money raised in hand, and as you probably saw in the media coverage, the purpose for which it was raised is now public knowledge. You are aware that a great many people saw that piece in the news and know what the money was raised for?"

"We're quite aware of that fact. However, the facts are the facts in terms of the construction project. You might consider contributing the money to the hospital's general fund. All contributions there go to benefit patients and our various programs."

They left the Director and walked out to the parking area in silence.

"What a fucker! I can't believe he could say that shit after all we did," Jerrod exploded.

"Jerrod. He's playing politics. He and a lot of other people are trying to save face, and to agree to the reality of what happened and then accept the funds you guys raised will be a public admission of failure on their part. He was talking down to us on purpose. His goal is to get us to go away, and maybe hand over the money you raised before we do."

"So, what do we do?"

"Well, the first thing we do is get everyone on the event team together for a meeting, so everyone knows what went down and what's going on. You two call them all on the way home and see if they can all be at our house this evening."

Everyone had been waiting for an update on the meeting at the hospital and were not happy that it hadn't gone well. They were all at David and Jackson's house that evening. Jackson, Jerrod and Roger walked them through the meeting and what the Director said was the hospital's position.

There was a flurry of outrage which finally settled into the understanding that there was a lot of politics and face saving going on. Finally, Matt said, "Like you said, Jackson, this sounds like a political run around, but we kind of figured this was a possible way they could try to save face and weasel out of it." He looked around at everyone and then said, "It looks to me like it's time for Plan B."

"What?" Jerrod looked at him in confusion. "What's Plan B?"

Matt grinned at Jerrod and then looked at the group and said, "It's the alternative approach. Okay, here's the deal. I started out working for Behlen Construction company last summer pretty much as a gopher. That means doing whatever needs to be done on a job site, in my case helping the project manager. That was lucky for me, meaning I was working for the project manager, not on a specific construction crew. Anyway, I did a good job and got more and more responsibility, and by the middle of the summer I was his assistant and part of the project team for the construction project we were on."

"You never told me you got a promotion like that," Nate said. "I thought you were just working construction."

"Well, it turns out that construction is a big thing, and there's different kinds of construction. So, while you and your boyfriend were horsing around at the rodeo and working on the Scout… horsing around, get it?" Matt grinned and then said, "Anyway while these two were up in Pendleton, I was…"

He was cut off by Jessica. "Matt, get on with it. You don't need to give your brother a lesson right now."

Matt almost started laughing, then continued. "You're right. Sorry, Nate. So, anyway, I learned a lot about projects from start to finish. That's why I wanted to see the old pavilion when you told me about the problem, partly 'cause I was just curious about it and wanted to see the construction remodel and stuff. But, as our whole plan got rolling with the petitions and the fund raising, I realized what the project problem was. I mean apart from the fact that the hospital dropped the ball and didn't think the pavilion was important plus didn't have the budget for it. Namely that Admin would have an out if it wasn't planned, specified, and permitted with approved engineering drawings… all of that stuff. So, I talked to my boss about it and filled him in on the whole story."

"You did what?" Nate stood up as he asked the question? "You did that, and you didn't tell us?"

"Relax, bro. I didn't know where it would go, so I talked to my boss and kept him informed. Anyway, he got really interested and it turns out that he talked to a person or two at the company, and after Jerrod called me this afternoon and told me about how the meeting at the hospital went, I called him and told him. Then he made a call or two and the next thing I know is that a little before five o'clock he and I are on the phone with Susanna Koenig, the founder's daughter."

He looked at Jackson and continued, "Remember, she runs the family foundation?"

Jackson nodded and said, "Yeah, she's the one we met with about your tuition grant."

Matt nodded and said, "That, and out of it came the job I had last summer."

Jerrod interrupted and said, "Holy shit! You were doing all of this and didn't say a word?"

"Not true! I told Jessica and I talked to Jackson as well, kind of as a sanity check. Meaning he knew I was talking to my boss about what we were doing. We didn't say anything to all you guys 'cause we didn't know if it would matter or if it would go anywhere. But after today's meeting we're in a different place now, right?"

Kim looked at everyone and grinned, "It sounds like the different place is known as up shit's creek without a paddle!"

Some laughed, some didn't, and when it quieted down, Matt continued. "So, here's the deal. We may be up the creek right now, but we've got a good canoe and we've got paddles! The company is behind what we're doing. The old pavilion was basically made out of lumber, four by four posts and a wood frame roof with shingles. Like the hospital guy said, it was put up as a temporary thing that never got replaced and now it's gone. Anyway, a replacement has to be much better quality, like a steel frame and stuff, and meet code and engineering standards. It also has to fit into the design aesthetics of the new construction project."

He looked around at his friends. "Are you with me so far?"

Everyone nodded or said yes, and Matt continued. "So, it's been handed over to a project team and they're working up drawings and plans for a new pavilion. Because we've been talking about it for a while, my boss and some of the people on his team know just what we're after. We regularly work with the general contractor that's doing the hospital construction project, so my boss says it won't be hard to integrate our design into their project plans. You guys will have to review it and make sure it works for the dogs and handlers, and then it'll get turned into engineering drawings. On top of that, we had a great event last week and raised some good money, but not enough like the hospital dude told Jackson. But guess what?"

Jerrod looked from Matt to Roger and then the rest of his friends. "I don't know what to guess at this point. This is wild so far."

"Well, it gets better because Mrs. Koenig committed that whatever funds are needed beyond what we raised, the company foundation will contribute."

The group was silent, then Roger said, "You're not shitting us, are you?"

"No way. This is all for real, and I'm as amazed as you are. And she's going to go with me and Jackson so we can meet with that hospital administration person. I'm guessing between the two of them it will be damn hard for the hospital to say no!" He looked over at Jackson with a grin. "I haven't told you about that meeting yet, have I?"

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