LAKEWOOD - Turning their pain into something positive is not easy for Holger and Denise Forrest after losing their daughter Mackenzie in a car crash in March.
"It's hard. Every day is hard," Holger Forrest said. "Every, every day."
Mackenzie Forrest was a star player for the Lakewood High School basketball team. Known as "Little Mac", her parents say she was not wearing her seatbelt when she veered off I-70 near Frisco. They say she sometimes took long drives to clear her mind of stress.
"Teens think about a lot of things when they're in high school; when they're dealing with this world of social media. They're choosing colleges," Holger Forrest said.
As part of her legacy, the Forrests created an effort to sell Remember Bands to help teens remember to always buckle up. The other function of these so-called "action bands" is to help teens deal with their angst or emotions. Denise Forrest says if students are feeling bad, they can turn the band over, read it, and think positive thoughts.
"One of Mackenzie's gifts was always reaching out to people," Denise Forrest said. "We can help contribute to helping youth refocus when they're having crazy thoughts or when they're feeling overwhelmed."
The Remember Bands are being sold online at family and friends are helping to sell them and T-shirts at basketball events during this new season getting underway. The funds generated from the sales will go to the the Gold Crown Foundation. This nonprofit not only supports basketball, but the Gold Crown Foundation runs an academic enrichment program for at-risk kids.
"This foundation is supporting a group of kids that might have a tough life," Denise Forrest said.
If you want to find out more about the Remember Bands, click here: http://www.macforrest33.com/
The Forrests also created the Mac Forrest Hustle and Heart Award to recognize boy and girl athletes who exhibit the proper demeanor on and off the basketball court. The first winners will be recognized at the Denver Nuggets game on December 15.
Holger Forrest hopes their efforts will keep Little Mac's legacy alive for a long time.
"Yes, she was a great basketball player. But, at the end of the day, it was her as an individual, an all-around individual and what she did on and off the court," Holger Forrest said. "We don't want Mac remembered as a basketball player, just as a person."
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