February 19, 2018-- For most of us in Salt Lake City, we woke to an alarm that went off too early, got ready for the gym, went down and had breakfast with our teams and headed out to play and coach some volleyball. However, Chandler Parker of A5 15-1s had an entirely different experience.

Chandler made it to the gym. Her team played. But, she had no idea of the life-changing news waiting for her. I remember looking at her across the court wondering how in the world was she going to handle this. At 15, she was about to learn that her stepfather, Robert, had passed.

I imagined her mother as I watched Chandler--her mother, waiting in the hotel room for Chandler to arrive. What would she say, and how would she say it? How do you explain to a child that the man who loved and unconditionally supported all that she did--was gone.

Time crept. The snow fell, and Chandler and I made our way from the gym to the hotel through the now-blizzarding storm. The weather mirrored the winter of what was about to unfold itself for Chandler.

No one in this world is ever fully prepared for the loss of a loved one. Death takes people from us without our consent and leaves us with a pain that hurts beyond words. While I recognize that all of us will have to deal with death, I do hope that we all recognize that, with the sudden and tragic passing of Robert McMichael, 4 children and his wife are now facing a new reality, one that life did not give them time to prepare for, time to organize their emotions, time to understand how this was going to feel.

We have an opportunity to help this awesome family, mother, Dina and children : Chandler, Preston, Tyler and Logan by contributing financially. The funds raised by this campaign will go directly toward the future expenses for each of the 4 children. Our goal is 20,000.00 to assist them in pursuing their individual academic and/or athletic endeavors in the years to come. The loss of a loved one is painful enough. We would like to ensure that these children will be able to pursue their passions in life as Robert was always so willing and able to do for them.

Chandler is one of the most responsible young women I have met in my lifetime. She has a huge future in her sport. Each of the 3 other children are also heavily involved in athletics and academics. Preston is a multi-sport athlete, Tyler is also into volleyball and track, and even little Logan runs and LOVES to sing like her dad did. Our passions are what we live for each day. It is our sincere hope that these children can continue to pursue theirs without having to worry about the financial stress involved in these pursuits that allow them to push themselves and grow. I hope that you all consider the circumstances and find a way to contribute to this cause. On behalf of A5 Volleyball and the Walton Volleyball families, we appreciate any contribution and hope that you continue to keep this beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers.

  • Alexander Thompson 
    • $200 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 49 mos
  • Rhonda & Kaye Gresham 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
    • $150 
    • 50 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 51 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Suzanne Fitzgerald 
Marietta, GA
Dina McMichael