AMAZING night. Thank you again to ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the fundraiser for our family. You are amazing and we will be forever grateful.
I will post pictures and a report soon… 🙂
July 10, 2014
Well, “soon” has turned into over a year. And although I still don’t know who exactly to thank, or how to put those feelings of gratitude into words, I thought I better finally just give it a shot. Please forgive me for my procrastination, and know that hardly a day goes by that I haven’t thought about all the amazing people that so deeply affected our lives and gave so much for our family.
I remember so well the feelings in my heart the day of the fundraiser. I was sad because Steve couldn’t be here with us to share the joy and love of the night. Sarah was working through the scariest part of her recovery, and as much as we both wanted to share this night, he just couldn’t leave her. I was nervous because I knew I’d be a puddle of tears all night, and I didn’t have a clue how I was going to handle it. I was grateful and overwhelmed with the love and service rendered by so many people on our behalf, and knew I wouldn’t be able to express even half of the gratitude we were feeling at such a difficult time.
Well, I remember arriving early with our other four children to greet our guests, and was completely overwhelmed with what I saw when I walked into that beautiful venue. There were tables and tables of gift baskets (over 60 of them) and other donated items for the auction. Beautiful hand-made quilts were on display, and it seemed the “goods” just went on forever. There were gift certificates for services from local businesses. There was a handmade doll bed, rocking horse, crafts, and home decor items. A whole table was covered with jewelry from someone’s home-based business. Themed gift baskets for picnics, baby care, movie parties, and vacation get-aways were beautifully wrapped in cellophane and bows. A huge TV, barbecue, golf package and other large items were donated from local stores for the raffle. The feeling was overwhelming as I discovered that these items were donated by many people we knew, and even more people we didn’t. All I felt the whole night was love. A room full of love.
We were met by Grandma Brown and Aunt Kathy and cousin Britney and Carley, who came up from Utah. Diane Peck from Yes! Idaho/Intermountain Donor Services was there with a “Donate Life” information table and goodies. There were a number of groups and individuals that shared their talents for the entertainment whom I don’t even know. Many friends from our past and present stepped in to help with banners and signs, sell tickets, help with food, set up, clean up, sell bracelets, take pictures, run the auction, share their trades and talents, …and who knows what else. I cannot even imagine the huge number of hours and people it took to pull off such a perfect event. Many of our friends, acquaintances, and even strangers were there to support our family, eat a dinner “out” and take home things they bought–but may or may not have needed. The organizers set a pretty lofty goal to raise funds to help our family. By the end of the next week (counting direct donations at the bank) their expectations had been exceeded. We will be forever grateful to each of these amazing people who have forever touched our lives.
I had the opportunity near the end of the event, to share a first-hand report of how our Sarah was doing, and express our gratitude for all of this. For me, that was the hardest part of the evening, but an opportunity that I was really grateful for. The whole night I was hugged, supported, loved, and lifted by all these incredible, loving, giving people. I smiled and laughed much more than I cried. I think it must have been the love.
As I reflect on this incredible event, and try to put into words the feelings of gratitude we felt, maybe it will best to just finish with an excerpt from my Thank You post last May…before the fundraiser.
It’s extremely humbling and kind of surreal to be the recipient of such community love and support. We knew people cared, but this kind of love is just so overwhelming. We are so grateful that we have good insurance to pay for Sarah’s medical care, but we hadn’t really realized how much our family’s care would cost beyond our normal budget before and after she received her new heart. So thank you to those of you who saw a need and acted so we wouldn’t have to ask. We have heard how many people have volunteered their time and talents and wanted to do something to help. Please know your kindness is making an incredibly huge difference for our family. I have realized that each kind act is simply an answer to our unspoken prayers. Your love is very humbling and your service will forever be etched in our hearts. We love you.
To see pictures full size, just click…and feel the love! 🙂
Photographers: Britney Ross & Rita Peck – Thank you!!