Jesus, family, friends, dance

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bring Light Dance Ministry plans golf tournament to honor late Landrum girl

LANDRUM — There are a few things that are clear about Eliza Cait Millwood, a 10-year-old Landrum girl who broke the hearts of the community when she died from complications of leukemia on April 3; she loved Jesus, her friends and family, and dance.

Following her death, her parents, Joey and Erin Millwood, started Bring Light Dance Ministry to honor their daughter by combining the things she loved.

Eliza Cait Millwood

The first annual Eliza Cait Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for a 9 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Links O’ Tryon in Campobello. The ministry is looking for sponsors and teams to benefit the Bring Light Dance Ministry.

“It’s been a struggle for us, but we do the best we can,” said Millwood, a former Tryon Daily Bulletin employee, who now works for another area newspaper. “This ministry is so personal to us, obviously. It means the world. Our top priority is to honor God. Our second priority is to expand the legacy of our baby girl.”

The ministry’s mission is to use dance to praise, worship and create disciples for Jesus, both at home and around the world, Millwood said.

Every dollar raised by the golf tournament will go to Bring Light Dance Ministry to teach kids to worship God through dance.

Bring Light Dance Ministry Fund is through the Spartanburg County Foundation.

The golf tournament will include a lunch and 18 holes of golf.

“Eliza Cait was so strong,” Millwood said. “She loved God. She loved her family. She loved everyone around her. Bring Light Dance Ministry honors all of those things that she loved.”

Millwood said he and Erin began to think of a way to honor their daughter and make sense of her death.

He said their new mission will first and foremost honor God both at home and abroad, and also expand the legacy and story of his sweet baby girl.

“Let’s talk about perspective,” Millwood said on Bring Light Dance Ministry’s Facebook page. “Erin and I have had a new perspective on life since Feb. 26. That was when Eliza Cait was diagnosed with leukemia. That perspective changed even more when we lost our baby girl on April 3. As we lay, face down on the [Pediatric Intensive Care] floor, crying, as our baby took her last breath, our lives could’ve went in two different directions.”

Millwood said they could have ran away from Jesus in anger or run into his arms in hopes of seeing their daughter again.

“We chose the latter, and that has shaped our perspective on life,” Millwood said. “We want to dedicate our lives to sharing Jesus with others…filling their hearts with that hope. That’s why we created this ministry.”

Businesses and families can sponsor a hole for next month’s tournament. Golfers are also being invited to sign up for the tournament now.

For more information on the tournament or the ministry, people may visit bringlightdanceministry.com. There is also a Bring Light Dance Ministry Facebook page.

“Just understand that this isn’t about us,” Millwood said. “It’s not about golf. It’s not about money. It’s about spreading the name of Jesus like Eliza Cait would want…and in the process honoring our sweet, baby girl.”

To sign up for the tournament, people may email bringlightdanceministry@gmail.com.