Help Ben Soar!

Hi - my name is Kelli Perry or affectionally called "Ben's mom."  I have 4 children who I adore, but my third child is the focus of this campaign.

Ben just graduated from high school two weeks ago.  He wasn't even able to attend his graduation ceremony because he missed the graduation practice.  You must be wondering why he would miss such an important practice - he was attending student orientation at Auburn University/his DREAM school with his dad.

That is my Ben - foward focused!  When I was upset that we would miss his high school graduation, he kept reminding me of his "end game" - graduating from college in the next 4 years.

I am that typical mom who worries too much over her kids.  I did not want him to attend Auburn because I knew the cost of out-of-state tuition - not to mention room and board, books, food - yikes!!!  

You can imagine our conversations last fall as he began the college application process ...

Ben's Mom: I can't afford to help you with that cost - how about a nice community college?

Ben: I will work it out mom - it is AUBURN!

Ben's Mom: I can't afford to help you with that cost - I am only a school teacher

Ben: I will work it out mom - it is AUBURN!

Ben's Mom: I can't affod to help you with that cost - what about the military?

Ben: I will work it out mom - hang on ... dad is calling ...

and then his dreams came true ... dad called and told him that he would pay for his college tutition.  How exciting!

I was still concerned ... but who wants to crush a child's dream?

Let's step back a little bit.  Ben's dad and I got divorced when Ben was 5 years old.  I would love to tell you that it was a friendly split.  I wish I could say that our co-parenting skills would put Demi Moore and Bruce Willis to shame.  I can't lie.  It was ugly!  BUT this is not about a broken marriage ... this is about Ben!

Back to last fall ...

Ben's Mom: Are you sure your dad said he would pay for all of your college?

Ben: Dad and I will work it out mom - it is Aubun

Ben's Mom: Are you sure he knows about the cost of out-of-state tuition?

Ben: Dad and I will work it out mom - it is Auburn

Ben's Mom: Are you sure the money will be there ... I don't trust him

Ben: Dad and I will work it out mom - it is Auburn

Ben applied and was accepted to Auburn ... his dad promised him the money ... all I knew to do was hold my breath and help him celebrate.


Fast forward to late May 2017 - 2 weeks after his graduation from high school.  He has the diploma - no ceremony! (yes that will forever make me sad)

As I said before, he attended the student orientation with his dad and everything seemed to be ready for the fall.  Ben was SO EXCITED - and I was relieved.  Maybe he was right and it would all work out.

Ben left the day after "graduation" from high school to spend the entire summer volunteering with his other passion - DCI (drum corp international) or drum and bugle corps.  If you love marching band, I am sure you know what I am talking about.  This is the other dream Ben will pursue in the future, and he was invited to tour with Phantom Regiment this summer for FREE.  He will work, but also get a close up view of what it could be like for him .  He will come home from that tour a little early to attend band camp with Auburn's marching band.  

Of course I cried when he left but who can be sad about this kid following his dreams?  Doesn't he look like he is ready to take on the world?


Here is some of the work he has been doing the past two weeks.

Are you still reading?  Have you guessed what happens next?  I wish I could say I did ....

Ben called me from Illinois 4 days ago in tears and told me that his dad would no longer be paying for Auburn!!

Ben's Mom: ... I am confused

Ben: me too mom

Ben's Mom: But he promised

Ben: I am so confused mom

Ben's Mom: Why is this happening now ... there is only 8 weeks until Auburn's band camp ...

Ben: I am so confused mom

Ben's Mom: ...

Ben: I am heartbroken ... please help

I wanted to scream "I told you so!"
I wanted to scream "You told me to stay out of it!"
I wanted to scream "I only have a teacher salary"
I wanted to scream "I don't think I can fix this"
I wanted to scream "We are out of time!"

I wanted to scream 

But his heart is breaking, and I am going to try to help.

I am working on getting loans.  
I am working on finding him cheaper housing.

And ... I am working on the possibility of telling him that he might have to put his dream on hold for now and attend community college.

Can you help?

Consider it a graduation gift for that high school celebration we didn't get to throw him.

Consider it a pre-graduation gift from his dream school.

Consider it a spark that can re-ignite a dream for a kid who really deserves a break of good fortune.

Maybe his dad will remember his promise ... we can't wait on that right now ... the tuition bill is due in 2 months.

Maybe Ben will learn about life being really unfair sometimes ... we all know that it definitely true ... but do we want him to learn that from his dad? or his mom?

Maybe Auburn has two mascots because I am a tiger who will fight for her kids, and Ben is that eagle who is ready to soar.

Please help us fufill his dreams!

Donations ()

  • Dana Eastabrooks 
    • $75 
    • 30 mos
  • Bronwyn Stewart 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Debra Griffith 
    • $100 
    • 33 mos
  • Patty King 
    • $50 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 33 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kelli Padgett Perry 
Organizer
Lawrenceville, GA
Ben Elkington 
Beneficiary
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