(Cushing, Okla.) Eleven-year-old Zak Yocham from Coweta, OK has a mission and is well on his way to make it a reality.
Zak was a recent guest on the Donna & Molly Show on 1600 KUSH radio in Cushing and shared his story with listeners. His mission is a big one - to build a show truck in memory of his father and use it to reach others, who like his father, may suffer from alcoholism. His dad battled the disease for many years but died in May 2010 in an alcohol-related accident. Zak's goal is to display the truck at car shows around Oklahoma and surrounding states, bringing awareness to the disease of alcoholism and to let others know help is available. Any money raised through Zak's efforts will go to Valley Hope in Cushing to help defray the cost of treatment for those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
"I want to tell others who may be alcoholics that they can get help," Zak said. He went on to share something his doctor told him, likening alcoholism to a peanut butter allergy. "If you are allergic to peanut butter - you don't eat it," the youngster relayed. "And if you do, you have to go to the doctor. If you are an alcoholic, you can't drink alcohol."
Zak's mother Alisha Cherry Martin said he came up with the idea of the show truck right after his father's tragic accident. "It's a pretty big mission," Martin said. "But I knew once he had his mind set on doing it, he would work to make it happen. He's always been like that."
Zak is doing a lot of the work on the truck himself, but is getting a lot of help from people who believe in his cause. He is also raising funds for Valley Hope by selling orange wristbands - the color the truck will be painted once completed. Zak has enlisted the help of someone who does airbrushing to paint a photo of himself, his sister Kaitlyn, and his dad in happier times on the truck.
"It will have our pictures and then there will be paragraphs from something my sister wrote underneath," Zak said.
Kaitlyn wrote a paper for a class in 2008 about alcoholism. In it she said: "You have to have it set in your heart to quit. Get help and you can stop. Change your life and the ones around you."
If you are interested in learning more about Zak's Mission or in making a donation, visit his website at www.boysmission72chevytruck.com. You can also view the truck's progress as Zak prepares to take it to the first big auto show in Tulsa in February. To learn more about Valley Hope, visit www.valleyhope.org