Photo by Rhonda Silence - 2000
A happy memory - fulfilling a dream at Hungry Jack Lodge. (L-R, back)
Larry Smith, Fishing Guide Vince Ekroot, Dream Foundation Recipient Dave
Benton, Hungry Jack Lodge owner Jerry Parsons (Front) David Benton Jr
and Ken Benton.
In August 2000, North Shore residents had the
privilege of meeting David Benton of Cedar, Minnesota at Hungry Jack
Lodge. David was visiting the Gunflint Trail along with family members
for a weekend of fishing. At first glance, Dave looked like any other
fisherman in search of a big walleye, but there was actually something
very different about the quiet man with a warm smile. He was battling a
terminal illness called Metastatic Hepatoma and the fishing weekend had
been arranged by the "Dream Foundation." On April 19, 2002,
David Benton passed away.
With the loss of their brother, husband and father, the memory of that
weekend became even more precious to the Benton family. Deb Benton wrote
to Jerry Parsons of Hungry Jack Lodge to share the sad news and said,
"Two years ago the Dream Foundation asked you if you would sponsor
my brother David, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. You gave him a
wonderful week with four other family members. I am writing to thank you
for the generous gift to us. Because of you we were able to experience
something with David that he truly loved. Because of you we have special
memories that we can always cherish and look back on. David never
stopped talking about that trip and what a wonderful time he had. He
lived his life to the fullest in those last years and you were a part of
that and you deserve to feel good about it. God bless you and everyone
at the Lodge for being so wonderful to us."
Jerry and Forest Parsons were joined in making the week special by Vince
Ekroot, of Little Vince's Fishing Guide Service who guaranteed the men
"It was a trip of a lifetime," recalled Jerry Parsons.
"It gave everyone involved a real good feeling."