Despite loss, Ravens make day of fan devastated by Black Forest Fire
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A few weeks ago we met Amanda Davis-Suddoth.
She told us about the people she’s been helping. Chris Schickler’s name came up
“He’s just a good kid,” she said, holding back tears. As we continued to hear Chris’ story, we had to do the same.
Chris’ house was one of the 500-plus erased by the most destructive fire in Colorado history.
“He and his family lost everything,” Amanda said. “There is nothing left of their home. Nothing at all.”
All the family has left is their business, where Chris works: the Firehouse on the Run BBQ in Colorado Springs. Chris does a little bit of everything for them, Amanda said.
“He works the smoker, he works the cash register, he stocks, he cleans,” Amanda said. “He does it all.”
One afternoon while waiting to check out at the family’s restaurant, Amanda could tell something was bothering Chris.
“I said, ‘Chris what did you lose? What can we help with?’” Amanda said. “He said, ‘Nothing. I’m just tired of hearing about people saying how their gardens got burned when we lost everything.’”
Amanda kept pressing Chris to find out what the one thing was that he missed the most. It turns out it was a picture he drew in the sixth grade.
Chris is a huge Baltimore Ravens fan. He’s loved them ever since he was a kid. He took weeks to etch a drawing of Ray Rice, and took the drawing to the Broncos playoff game last year, where he got Terrell Suggs to sign it.
“It was just absolutely beautiful,” his dad Jeff Schickler said. “It was a great event to go up there and watch him get it signed. Just a perfect day.”
Chris planned to get the drawing framed right before the fire. It was such a treasured possession for his son, Jeff said, “I can’t believe he didn’t make it out of the house with it.” And yet, scared for his life and his family, it was yet another treasure lost to the blaze.
We knew we could never replace the sketch, but several members of our staff here at FOX31 Denver reached out to the Ravens all the same. Their response blew Chris away.
The team mail him a signed photo, signed hats and t-shirts and a moving letter.
“The entire Baltimore Ravens family was devastated to hear about the impact the Black Forest Fire had on you and your family…” Chris read out loud. That was as far as he made it.
“Wow,” he said, in tears. “I don’t even know what to say.”
In the request he sent to the Ravens, FOX31 Denver’s Ken Clark asked for one last thing – just one loss this year to the Broncos. As Clark said following the Broncos 49-27 win, “Those Ravens just keep coming through.”
So on behalf of Chris and everyone here at FOX31 Denver, we send the Baltimore Ravens our heartfelt thanks. Here’s to hoping they continue to give Chris and their fans plenty more to cheer about — both on the field and off of it.
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