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Walnut Creek basketball game held for Loving family

Wednesday night a Las Lomas High School basketball game helped raise money for a coach and dad of 4 who recently lost his wife.
November 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An East Bay man who lost his wife suddenly is now facing the challenge of raising four adopted children from Ethiopia on his own. ABC7 News was there at the emotional event Wednesday night to help a respected coach and teacher in a time of crisis. The response to the Loving Family's tragedy has just been incredible.

The Las Lomas High School alumni basketball game raised money to help Jeff Loving and his kids.

Jeff and his wife spent everything they had to bring four orphaned kids home from Ethiopia. Shortly after they adopted the last two kids, his wife, Brenda, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died earlier this month, leaving Jeff alone to raise four kids between the ages of 3-5. They've had incredible support from the community and the church, but Jeff says the toughest part is when the kids are asleep in bed at night and he's alone.

The interview was extremely emotional, especially when Jeff's youngest son, Landon, interrupted to check on his dad.

Jeff: "We miss Brenda... incredibly. Her absence is painful. It's hard. It's been hard on all of us."
Landon: "Are you sad Daddy?"
Jeff: "Yeah, I'm sad. I'm sad to lose Mommy."

Jeff and Brenda discussed life after she was gone. Jeff said, "We could hear the kids laughing and playing and so she heard that and said, 'I want it to sound like that.'"

Now Jeff is trying to keep that laughter alive with a little help from the Walnut Creek community.

Wednesday's basketball game between Las Lomas High School's varsity and the alumni team is benefiting Jeff's family: 5-year-olds Linnea and Luke, 4-year-old Lailie, and a 3-year-old Landon. Jeff played on the team as a student and coached the varsity players for 12 years.

"As you can see here by the crowd he's probably one of the more selfless figures in our community," said Chad Deleuze, a former student.

"Especially with Thanksgiving tomorrow, we all have a lot to be thankful for and we want to show our thanks to him," said Stacy Walsh, a family friend.

Loving says he's humbled and he wants to return the favor.

"That's going to be my goal. Raising these kids in a Godly home and love them to the best of my ability," said Jeff.

And the community says it'll be behind him all the way.

A GoFundMe fundraising page has been set up by two of Jeff's former students who wanted to help out.


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