I’m deeply distressed to write this blog entry, but I feel that I should do so.
Our friend Arthur VanWagenen, of Excel Entertainment, is in desperate medical straits. My wife and I met him slightly past midway in the development of the Interpreter Foundation’s Witnesses theatrical film. He was centrally involved in our recent Witnesses event at Provo’s Experience Events Center and we have been looking forward to working with him on the film’s DVD distribution and on its streaming, as well as on distributing the forthcoming Undaunted Witnesses of the Book of Mormon docudrama.
Arthur made his a career in the filmmaking industry, as an actor in The Trip to Bountiful (1985); a member of the crew for Convicts (1991), Alan & Naomi (1992), and One Good Man (2009); and Project Director for Film at Deseret Book’s Excel Entertainment division. Some of the films in which he was involved upon coming to Excel included Just Let Go (2015), Freetown (2015). The Cokeville Miracle (2015), and The Christmas Dragon (2014).
Arthur is in the hospital right now, in critical condition, and he faces a very serious and extremely risky but urgently needed surgery tomorrow (on Thursday, 4 November 2021). I had been serenely confident that our kind, pleasant, bright, supportive, talented friend would be on the mend by now, but his prospects at the moment are, frankly, grim.
So I’m inviting readers, even if (as is most likely) they don’t know Arthur, to include him and his family in their prayers. And I’m calling attention to a Go Fund Me page for him and the family. (I’m told that fundraisers that are shared on social networks raise up to five times more than those that aren’t.) Generous contributions have already been made to to the VanWagenen account, and it’s well along the way toward its ambitious goal, but I would like to see it close the final distance:
Even if you can only spare a few dollars, it would certainly help and be appreciated. If enough people send something along, even small individual contributions can add up to a substantial amount. This is a chance to show community solidarity and love, and to help a family that is undergoing a hellish trial. Kindness, even and perhaps especially from strangers, would be a ray of light in an otherwise very bleak time.
“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.” (The Prophet Joseph Smith)