by Craig Juntunen
STUCK had the best weekend of the tour, as over 500 people in Indianapolis and Cincinnati came out to pack the theaters and engage in meaningful conversations. Both events had a remarkable energy, led by passionate volunteer teams, special guests and very accommodating theater managers. After the last 48 hours, it is easy to conclude the tour is gaining real momentum as we begin the home stretch run for D.C. and the Step Forward for Orphans March.
Kelly Ennslin joined the tour Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis and helped lead the Q&A this weekend. Both audiences embraced the value of her practical expertise and wisdom. Kelly brought a new dimension to the conversation and having her on the bus has been energizing. I will be taking the kids home tomorrow so they can get back to school and their activities and the tour will have the benefit of having Kelly take the lead for the next couple of cities.
The kids lobbied really hard today to stay out on the road, and as meaningful as it has been to have them along, getting them back into school is what has to happen. Kathi will bring them back out to D.C. for the march and we will proudly participate on May 17th as a family and make our statement that every child deserves a family.
We had the privilege to have Nick Leroy attend the Indianapolis screening. He joined the Q&A with Kelly Saturday night. Nick, Lori and Nate represent one of the family stories in STUCK: Kelly was their lawyer who helped break the log jam and bring Nate home. Having Nick and Kelly in front of the audience Saturday night personalized the film. You can imagine how poignant and powerful the moment was when I introduced them after the film had concluded.
We also had the privilege to have Louise Henderson, executive director of the Heartland Film Festival, attend the screening Saturday night. Having Louise there also provided some special significance as winning the audience choice award at the Heartland Film Festival in October proved to represent a launching pad for STUCK.
In the context of considering the life cycle of the STUCK project from the beginning in 2010, when I kicked around the idea of making a film, to a few years later to the weekend in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, it almost seems surreal how far one simple idea has grown and evolved and connected so many good people. The remarkable arc and trajectory that describes the STUCK journey was showcased by a remarkable energy in two theaters this weekend. The STUCK experience is connected by the human condition of decency, and after being part of this weekend in the heartland of this country, I believe that human decency will prevail and things will begin to change for the kids we are advocating for.