brett bentleyAbout Brett

In the summer of 2001, we lost our beloved Brett Crawford in a tragic accident that our family will quite honestly never get over.   She was 19 when she died. Brett was a bright light in an often dark world. She was creative, heartfelt, motivated and above all, caring. Brett loved the underdog and was closest to those who needed her most. Brett had what it takes to change the world.

To honor Brett’s memory, our family established a foundation in her name. The mandate of the BBC Foundation is to ‘To support children and young adults in creative pursuits as they work to overcome life’s challenges’.

Brett’s love for frogs perhaps reveals a fascination with their transformation from tadpole to frog. Brett herself experienced an amazing transformation in the course of a short life lived. As a strong-willed child, there was no getting in her way when she wanted something. Her fiery nature, elastic sense of humor and desire for the spotlight made her a natural entertainer and a magnetic force. Life was not perfect for Brett, and learning to deal with authority offered her a particular challenge. But she rose to this challenge beautifully. The obstacles she faced as a teenager created a platform for her to learn to be resilient, to channel her energy in a positive direction, and to heal not only herself, but those around her. She gave each person she was close to her whole heart, her undivided attention, and the wisdom she had gained in her journey.

As a child Brett loved frog catching. She was determined and relentless in her efforts.  Half the photos our family has of Brett as a young girl picture her with frog net in hand, and yellow pails of frogs all cozy in their leaves and rocks. Her frog catching illustrates how passionate her interests would become for her.  She was passionate about people, especially the underdog.  She was passionate about life’s deeper meanings.  She was passionate about the people she loved and incredibly observant of the qualities they possessed and the qualities she felt they needed to cultivate.  She wouldn’t hesitate to inform and educate each of us according to her evaluations.  She held us all accountable unceasingly.

Our symbol/logo of the frog leaping from the lilly pad expresses the very substance of Brett’s life as she lived it; a life of energy, action, adventure, beauty and grace in flight, and last but not least transformation from an impetuous, strong willed girl into a motivated, compassionate and achieving woman.

To say that the lilly pad represents the fragile, changing world she lived in and leaped from is to acknowledge her willingness to learn, change and grow; to be willing to go beyond the normal boundaries was definitely part of Brett’s life strategy.

The following quotes in her own words describe her growth as a person most accurately:

“I am an honest, beautiful woman.”

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you are anything less than beautiful.”

She is still with us and she will never stop working with us, inspiring us, achieving generous and meaningful goals through us, and motivating us to leap across and over boundaries for the betterment of ourselves and others.