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Young, in love and running out of time: Indianapolis teenagers receive parents’ blessing to marry

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INDIANAPOLIS – Chase Smith asked his parents to step out of the hospital room. He wanted to be alone with his doctor. He wanted to talk about life, his future, how much of it was left. It was late April and he had just learned that the tumors were back and had spread throughout his body.

Outside the room, Brad Smith waited anxiously, the idea swirling in his mind. Should he say it to Chase? Should he tell his son what he wanted to tell him?

When the door opened, Brad saw Chase standing there, just 18 but a man wise beyond his years. Brad had his answer.

He walked up to his son and whispered in his ear. “I’ll help you get a ring.”

“And I kind of got that look like, ‘How did you know?'” Brad said. “And I didn’t necessarily know that a wedding would entail in four days at that moment. I just knew from the get-go Sadie was his person. He never really told me that, but being a dad I could see it in his eyes. I knew that he would want to make that promise to her.”

A promise to love her forever — no matter how long forever was.

Chase and Sadie Smith celebrate after being married April 29, 2020.

‘Better together’

Jeff Mills’ phone rang. His daughter Sadie was crying on the other end. The tumors that had spread in Chase’s body had a timeline. Doctors told Chase he likely had three to five months to live.

“Sadie is beside herself in tears,” Jeff said. “She’s telling me, ‘You know he’s my soulmate. We were going to get married.'”

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Yes. He knew. Jeff and Jessica Mills both knew almost immediately that Chase was the one for Sadie.

“I told Chase way before any of this happened, ‘If I were to pick one person out in the whole world for her it would’ve been him,'” said Jessica.

"Everyone knew but me," said Jeff Mills about his daughter Sadie's plan to marry Chase Smith. "He makes her so happy and so I hugged him and said, 'Of course you have my blessing.'" Mills, alongside wife Jessica, talk about events leading up to the wedding during an interview inside their Mooresville, Ind., home on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Chase had been in Sadie’s heart for a long time, though she didn’t yet know him. At 13, the family was joking about what kind of man she would one day marry. Sadie is a perfectionist and has high standards.

She started listing her requirements: gorgeous, really smart, really mature, treats me like a princess and a super athlete.

“And I said, ‘Sadie, you need to lower your standards a little bit because I’m not sure you’re ever going to find that person,'” Jeff said. “Then I met Chase and I said ‘Holy cow, she was holding out for the right guy.’ Chase fits every one of those categories.”

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The two are identical in many ways, said Jessica. Competitive, loving and sometimes anxious. Chase has talked many times about how Sadie helps calm him down when he is in pain or when his mind goes to dark places.

“He does that for Sadie, too,” said Jessica. “I’m not sure what Chase does to her but he usually just puts his hands on both sides of her face and puts his forehead on hers and she’s just ready to roll.”

At the state diving competition, Sadie was warming up for her last three dives and she hit the board. Her nerves exploded. Would it happen again during competition?

She walked over to Chase. She put her hands up toward him and he put his hands on her.

“And ‘Bam’ she nailed it. He has a very calming effect on her,” said Jessica. “They are better together. They are. Who could stand in the way of that?”

‘How beautiful is that?’

The night after the devastating diagnosis up in his bedroom standing by his closet, Chase revealed the secrets of his heart to his mom, Kelli Smith.

“I need to ask you a question,” he said to her. “What do you think about me marrying Sadie?”

“I was like, ‘Oh how beautiful is that?'” Kelli said.

Kelli thought about all those firsts she had dreamed Chase would get to have after his first diagnosis with Ewing’s sarcoma at 13 — first date, first prom, getting a driver’s license. 

“And who doesn’t want their child to find their soulmate?” Kelli said. “We were on board 110%. It’s definitely a God thing they were brought together when they were. Not a minute before, not a minute later.” 

After receiving radiation, Chase Smith has his vitals taken inside Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center as his mother Kelli connects to a video call with Chase's wife Sadie and his father Brad on Monday, June 1, 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one guest is able to accompany Chase to his appointment.

Kelli walked downstairs, her heart full. She told Brad: “Chase wants to marry Sadie. Now.”

Practicality set in. The logistics, making sure a marriage wouldn’t affect insurance for Chase, making sure a marriage wouldn’t take away Sadie’s diving scholarships to IUPUI.

“Sadie is a special, special person and I wanted to make sure she was taken care of,” said Kelli. “He may live three to five months, but I wanted to make sure she was taken care of after that.”

They told Chase to give them 24 hours. The parents went to work researching, making calls, looking through policies, asking questions. The next morning, they were satisfied.

“We gave him the thumbs up,” Brad said.

Now all that was left to do was up to Chase, asking Jeff for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

‘Of course you have my blessing’

The Smiths invited the Mills over for dinner. They’d met once at Sadie’s state diving championship. But it was casual conversation then. This night would be about deeper things, life things — the future of their children.

“We’re all just hanging out and Chase kicks everyone out of the room including Brad and Kelli,” said Jeff. “And I’m like, ‘I know what’s coming now.'”

From the day he had met Chase, Jeff noticed his maturity. It was like Chase was 30 years old. It was like talking to any of his other buddies, Jeff said. Chase’s old soul shined through that night as he poured his heart out to Sadie’s parents.

“He was very sincere. He told us how much he cared for her,” Jeff said this week, tearing up. “We all broke down into tears because of the situation, knowing his prognosis but just knowing he makes her so happy.”

Jeff wrapped Chase in a hug, looked into his eyes and told him, “Of course you have my blessing.” 

The wedding came together in less than a week. The day was filled with rain, from morning until night. Except for the 30 minutes Chase and Sadie stood in the spot where they shared their first kiss on Sadie’s driveway to say their vows.

One of the photos of Chase and Sadie under a tree shows the sun streaming down. Jessica says it was “God’s light shining down on them.”

"They are better together," say Chase and Sadie Smith's parents.

“You would have no idea that four days prior we were given the news that our son had three to five months,” said Brad. “That’s how perfect that day was.” 

There have been naysayers, though few, who wondered why two high school seniors would marry. And people who say they only married because of Chase’s terminal illness. And those who ask how the parents could give their blessing.

“They got married because they wanted to and the love they have,” said Brad. “It wasn’t the cancer. Chase said, ‘Now is the time. Every day is a gift. I’m not going to waste another day without my bride.”

Hope they ‘rise together’

There were some mixed emotions for Jeff as he thought about the marriage. Sadie is his baby girl, after all. He worried about her heart, should something happen to Chase. He worried about how it might affect her future.

“I gave the blessing and I had a lot of time after to think about it,” he said. “And I never would take away the blessing because Chase is perfect for her but I had mixed emotions.” 

Sadie, who had always been a homebody, lives with Chase and his parents now. 

"I think God's plan for Chase was to get his message to the world, and I think his plan for Sadie was to be there to support Chase, I really do," said Jeff Mills, Sadie Smith's father.

“That was sad for me,” said Jeff. “I teared up a lot in the last few months and I’m not a crier normally but then, you know.”

Sadie is so passionate and her devotion and commitment to Chase is intense. If Chase dies, Jeff wondered if Sadie would crumble.

“But the more I thought about it, she cares so deeply for him that I can see Sadie just elevating her life and making her standards that much higher just to honor Chase,” Jeff said. “I don’t see her crumbling. I see her rising.”

“My hope,” said Jessica, “is they rise together.”

Follow Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627254206/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Young-in-love-and-running-out-of-time-Indianapolis-teenagers-receive-parents-blessing-to-marry/

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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