Next month, members of the community will come together in support of Cyndi Litz, a local elementary school drama and dance teacher whose family was turned upside down following a car accident last year.
On June 11, 2016, Alex Litz, who grew up in Southwest Orlando, was in a car accident while driving home to visit his parents. It left him with punctured lungs, many broken bones and serious brain trauma – injuries that required emergency surgery at a hospital in Ocala. His family wasn’t even aware until the next day.
Alex spent nearly a year at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehab, and Cyndi temporarily relocated to the Atlanta area to be his primary caregiver. While there, the family went through a series of recovery successes and setbacks. At the beginning of April, Alex and Cyndi relocated back to Central Florida via ambulance so he could continue rehab closer to his family. As medical bills and living expenses continue to climb, the family still has a long road ahead.
That’s where the family’s close friends and supporters come in. Joanne Mitchell, whose daughter Jacqueline is Cyndi’s former student, is one of the event organizers. Amanda Rearden and Kellie Kullich, whose children were also taught by Cyndi, and fellow teacher Debbie Smith are also involved in the planning process. They all believe that Cyndi has given so much of her time and talents to the community that it is time they give back to her.
“It’s about showing not just the financial benefits of what we can do from the fundraiser but the actual touch that it will give the family,” Mitchell says.
Puttin On the Litz will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on June 17 at SeaWorld’s Ports of Call. The date is just over a year since Alex’s accident. Tickets are $65 per person with proceeds being donated to Help Hope Live to help with Alex’s uninsured medical expenses. A live auction, which includes theme park tickets for Universal Studios, the Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld, will be part of the event. The goal is to raise $75,000.
The Litz family is grateful for all of the people who continue to help them get through one of their toughest times of their lives.
Cyndi says, “Material things, those things I used to worry about, are nothing. Just the love I feel from the whole community, it’s just unbelievable.”