A special golf tournament is being planned for Aug. 18, at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo. The Will Schramm Memorial Golf Tournament is to honor the memory of Will, 24, who died in a car crash on April 26, 2013.
Not only will the day be a celebration of Will's life and love of golf, it will also help raise funds for the installation of a custom labyrinth at Hap Magee Ranch Park.
I sat down with Will's mother, Dory Schramm, of Alamo, to talk about her son. At times she had tears in her eyes, but she never lost the sweet smile on her face as she talked about Will and his passions.
In addition to his love of golf, Dory told me that before Will died, her son became interested in labyrinths. And that enthusiasm was soon passed on to other family members and friends alike.
"I'm not good at traditional meditation and so was reading up on labyrinths one time when I happened to show Will a picture of one not too far from here and he said, 'Isn't there a cooler one than that?' So, we decided to go to the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in the City," said Dory.
With grandparents in tow, they headed to San Francisco on a Friday night, and a love of labyrinths was born among them.
"A couple weeks after we'd gone to walk the Grace Cathedral labyrinth, I was upset about something and Will said, 'Mom, you need to walk a labyrinth!'" added Dory.
The art installation of the labyrinth will be a collective effort on the part of the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church and donations from family and friends of Will, including from the tournament.
Rather than a memorial to Will, this new labyrinth has been inspired by his memory. For details, to register for the golf tournament and for information on other fundraisers for the art project, go to www.srvumc.org/help-us-build-labyrinth-hap-magee-ranch or email email@example.com. Cathy Colman, also from Alamo, told me that a committee was formed to find a location and bring the project to fruition.
"In our research, we discovered that Google had recently installed a labyrinth at their headquarters for employees to use, which demonstrates how beneficial these are to the community," she said. The committee contacted Labyrinths in Stone to do the artwork, and I got in touch with Debi Kermeen, who assists her husband, Marty Kermeen, an internationally recognized labyrinth artist.
"This is such a beautiful thing when a community comes together to make something wonderful from such a tragedy as the loss of a young man's life. The labyrinth will be great for families, weddings, personal meditation space, group walks or just a peaceful walk in the park. We are honored to be chosen to make this labyrinth," said Debi.
Someone very special to Will, Julia Conley, 24, told me there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't think of him.
"The moment I met Will I told him, 'We are going to be good friends.' But he was so much more than my best friend. He gave me the security to be my true self. Hours seemed to disappear as we went on daily adventures. We understood each other, and nothing else really mattered but being together. That's what happens when you find your twin flame," Julia wrote in an email.
On one of their adventures, the couple tried to find the labyrinth at Land's End in the City but, pressed for time, weren't able to locate it.
Dory told me that on the anniversary of Will's passing, she, her husband Tom and son, Mark, 28, decided to make that same pilgrimage and spent a reflective day honoring his memory with tears and laughter as they walked the labyrinth at Land's End. Their son, Jack, 22 was back east attending school and was unable to join them.
I spoke with another friend of Will's, Kiley McInroy, 24, who told me the labyrinth is a testimony to Will's sense of spirit.
"Will introduced us to labyrinths, and the adventures it takes just to find them are sometimes daunting. This special labyrinth being built in such an accessible spot makes Will's smile come alive again," said Kiley. "I look forward to the memories that will come from generations ahead and the clarity and happiness it will bring to our beloved Alamo.
"And, Will, thank you for being a light of love and kindness," added Kiley.
I couldn't agree more, and along with the rest of the community, look forward to experiencing this incredible form of art.
Julia told me that Will holds a special place in her heart and said "Will was a pure soul that will forever inspire us to create, and I can't wait to walk the labyrinth because I know we will be walking it together."
Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- firstname.lastname@example.org.