He may be gone, but Max Schwolert is anything but forgotten.
The 17-year-old Marcus High School senior who died suddenly from influenza complications on December 29, 2012 has left an indelible impression on the community.
On Friday, June 7th, only months after his untimely and tragic passing, Faith Lutheran Church in Flower Mound will rededicate the gymnasium where Max played basketball and helped with the Sunday morning children’s ministry in a ceremony and well deserved celebration of his all too short life.
Thanks to church members and Lewisville-based Longacre Construction, the once plain colored facility now shines with a fresh coat of paint.
Max’s motto “Love God, Love People” is emblazoned under the stage and framed with three shades of purple. The speakers are covered with bright purple cloth and other trim work is also set in purple.
The high school senior hoped to attend University of Minnesota where bright purple is the school color. Sadly and ironically, he received his acceptance letter the day after his death.
Like many families stricken with tragedy, fans of Max can still document his journey to Christ on the Caring Bridge site posted by his family during his brief illness.
When a family builds a Caring Bridge site, it is normally in the spirit of wanting to keep family members and friends updated on medical conditions expected to improve over time. Rather than having to contact everyone separately, the site serves as a clearinghouse for information and prayer and is quite inspirational.
The journal entries from Max’s Uncle, Phil Schwolert, are nothing less than heart wrenching. The faith the family exhibits inspires, but the finality and shock of his death brought tears to my eyes, as did links from Faith Lutheran Church website showing hundreds of family photos set to music and inspired words from Pastor Rusty Sullivan.
The endless tributes and outpouring of love and support from so many people in our community will inspire you to want to make a difference in this world. In his short 17 years, Max Schwolert certainly did.
At the time of Max’s passing, Max’s family asked that in lieu of flowers, friends and community make donations to Faith Lutheran in Max’s honor. The donations exploded into a youth ministry fund that will be used in the spirit of Max’s loving impact on others.
Donations from t-shirt and bracelet sales support the Youth Ministry Fund at Faith Lutheran Church, where Max continues to be an inspiration as he was during his life.
The gymnasium dedication event on June 7th will begin with a ribbon cutting by the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce at 4 p.m. followed by a concert and meal.
Donations are welcome and will go toward the Love to the Max Foundation, inspired by the young man who gave so much to his community and loved God and people above all else.
What: Love to the Max Center Dedication Event
When: Friday, June 7th
Time: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Faith Lutheran Church, 6000 Morriss Rd., Flower Mound, TX 75028
For more information on how you can help and for details on the day’s events: Faith Lutheran Church: www.faithchangeseverything.com; Love to the Max Foundation: www.lovetothemax.org; Caring Bridge: www.caringbridge.org/visit/maxschwolert; Facebook: www.facebook.com/LOVEtotheMAXforMaxSchwolert
Pictured above (from left to right): Ann VanLoenen, Jeff Voight, Kim Silva, Julie Almond, Marisa Lopez and Linda Ryan in front of the future Love to the Max Center.
Shelley Kaehr is a long time Lewisville resident and Associate Agent at Nationwide Insurance, Randall Crane & Associates.