How a Macadoodles Lee’s Summit raffle served as a meaningful reminder of 9/11 for a local family

The below story was originally posted by Link 2 Lee’s Summit. Thank you to the Mathews family for sharing their story and being a part of the Macadoodles Lee’s Summit community!

A bottle of whiskey signed by country music icon Alan Jackson has become another poignant reminder of the tragic events of 9/11 for lifelong Lee’s Summit resident Judy Mathews.

Judy’s brother, Randy Drake, was among the 2,976 victims who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania in 2001.

Although Randy wasn’t present in the North or South towers during the attack, he was working nearby at 195 Broadway as part of his job with Siemens. When the first plane, Flight 11, struck the North Tower, Randy and others quickly evacuated. Tragically, as Randy fled following the crash of Flight 175 into the South Tower, he was struck by falling debris. Despite surviving for 11 days, Randy passed away on September 22, 2001.

In the aftermath of Randy’s death, his family found solace in a song by country superstar Alan Jackson titled “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?”

“We heard it and all of us were choked up about the song,” Judy said. She mentioned that her brother Greg wrote a letter to Alan Jackson, sharing their family’s experience and expressing the profound meaning the song held for them. Not long after, Jackson responded, sending the family the original sheet music for the song. In his message, he wrote, “You know, I didn’t write that song. It was sent to me. It was a gift from God.”

Judy described the many miracles they encountered along their journey, with constant reminders of Randy’s presence. “We were the lucky family because we got Randy back. We got to see him and touch him and say goodbye to him.”

A few weeks ago, Judy received an unexpected call from Macadoodles in Lee’s Summit, notifying her that she had won a drawing for an Alan Jackson-signed bottle of his renowned Silverbelly whiskey. At the time, she was at the lake, having entered the drawing earlier. The timely text message announcing her victory felt like another sign. Goosebumps covered her skin as she shared her story with the owners of Macadoodles.

Jakob Nilsson, co-owner of Macadoodles, commented on the connection that sometimes emerges beyond rational explanation. “More than often, a well-deserving person is the raffle winner. This is a prime example. People connected beyond explainable reason and odds. I love that the bottle landed with Judy and her family.”

Judy’s mother entrusted her with the sheet music from Jackson’s poignant song and asked her to bring it back to Lee’s Summit. Judy plans to keep it alongside her signed bottle of Silverbelly whiskey. Additionally, she purchased another bottle of whiskey to honor her late brother, Randy.

“I am waiting until 9/11 to open the second one, and I will toast my brother,” Judy shared. “Everyone was experiencing that tragedy back then. Our nation. Other families. Young and old. We weren’t alone in our suffering, that’s for sure. This is just another little sign that he’s still out there, watching over us. It’s just that feeling. Someone has a hand in that, and I can’t help but think that’s my brother Randy out there reminding us that he’s still out there.”

As the Mathews family continues to cherish the memories of Randy Drake and the impact he had on their lives, the Alan Jackson-signed bottle of whiskey serves as a poignant token, representing both the loss they endured and the ongoing presence of their beloved Randy.

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