SVSMF Family: “Papa Fred” Best Documentary Awarded To Carlos Lenz June 15, 2016

SLHS Filmmaker Wins Two Top Honors at VHSL Film Festival

by Karen Goff

South Lakes High School senior Carlos Lenz won two top awards at last week’s second annual Virginia High School League (VHSL) Film Festival.

Lenz won Best Documentary chosen by the Grand Jury for his six-minute film, Papa Fred, which follows Lenz’s grandfather, Fred Gedrich, a runner who has completed hundreds of races, as he faces cancer treatment.

“What’s remarkable to me is he never lost his passion for running, or his spirit, despite being diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma/leukemia just a few months earlier,” Lenz narrates in the film.

Gedrich ran everyday for 32 years. Watch the short film (above) to see what happened when cancer broke his streak.

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“It was like a combination of me looking for an idea and my grandfather recently being diagnosed with leukemia,” says Lenz. “He wanted to have his story kind of told. … It was an interesting task to undertake and very challenging. I believe everything worked out as a result.”

Lenz has acted in plays at SLHS, but says his real passion is film. He has taught himself the basics of filmmaking and has been making movies since he was young, he said. He will study film at George Mason University next year.

Lenz also won the top honor in the Best Commercial-Public Service Announcement chosen by the Grand Jury for Be the Difference, about suicide prevention.

Other winners from Fairfax County Public Schools included  Shaun Saleih and Sam Sikora of Robinson Secondary School, Audience Choice Documentary for Ram Pride, and Shank Rai of Annandale High School, Audience Choice Commercial-Public Service Announcement for McDonald’s All Day Breakfast.

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Editor’s Note: Carlos Lenz and his grandfather, Fred Gedrich are members of the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund and Stand Up America family.

Dying Vietnam vet asks for final meeting with beloved horses outside hospital May 25, 2016

From Fox News:

Dying Vietnam vet asks for final meeting with beloved horses outside hospital

Published May 23, 2016

FoxNews.com

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Vietnam veteran Roberto Gonzalez’s final wish was granted Saturday when he was reunited with his beloved horses — Ringo and Sugar — outside of a Texas VA hospital.

Gonzalez, of Premont, Texas, who was shot and paralyzed during the war, was wheeled outside the front doors of Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio where he was greeted by the horses he had raised for decades, mySA.com reported.

Gonzalez, who was one of the hospital’s first patients when it opened in 1974, had asked his family to see his horses one last time. The family passed along the request to hospital staff who gladly obliged. Ringo and Sugar then made the 150-mile trip to the hospital to see him.

“Horses are his life,” his wife, Rosario Gonzalez, told KABB. “We’ve been training and raising horses for 30, 40 years.”

The South Texas Veterans Health Care System posted a photo of the meeting on its Facebook page on Sunday, calling Gonzalez a great American and identifying him as one of the first patients at the hospital.

“A heartfelt Thank you, to all at Audie L. Murphy V A Hospital,” Rosario Gonzalez posted in response. “A special thank you to the spinal cord staff, all of you became a part of our family.

“The care you have been giving my husband and to me goes above and beyond,” she wrote. “You are our angels God Bless you all.”

Gonzalez reportedly learned that his kidneys and liver were failing when he recently visited the hospital for a back wound.

“He never let his injuries slow him down. He loved horses, he loved cattle, he loved ranching and farming. He was proud to serve his country,” Rosario Gonzalez told ABC affiliate KSAT.

Gonzalez’s May 21 visit with the horses came 46 years to the day after he was wounded in Vietnam. His wife told local media stations that her husband was one of the only licensed, handicapped horse trainers in Texas.

“When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes. They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him,” Gonzalez told News4SA.com.

See article here

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From CNN:

Watch Video here