Friday, September 28, 2012

The gift that keeps on giving


Last week we started our fundraising efforts for my MS Walk team the Village People.  This is the earliest we have ever started.  We had a great day and evening with a golf tournament and then a live auction after dinner at my favorite wine bar, Niche.  I had a group of folks who rallied and really put this all together for me.  Ted, Jill, Leigh and Amika you all are so special to me.  We raised awareness with signs posted at the golf course, as well as speaking about the disease at the auction.  We raised money!!  Over $3000.00!!  We also raised something a little bit more important to me than all of that, we raised a sense of community.
"Love thy neighbor", so to speak. 
Before we began organizing this event I had never met Jill or Leigh.  Ted has been a good friend for some time and Amika, well we were just starting to grow our friendship.  These four people really put their all in for me and for MS.  They found sponsors, golfers, donors for the auction and the goodie bags along with dinner and entertainment.  Jill was able to get us on the front page of the Holly Springs Sun (an excellent opportunity to share what MS is and who I am as a mother of three with MS), as well as a follow up this past week.  There were many people I knew who were going to golf that day and there were many I did not know.  I tried to introduce myself to all of them and thank them personally, I hope I did not miss anyone!  We had a fantastic surprise that day as well.  Jill was back at the snack bar getting ready to fill up the cart.  There was a gentleman there that asked her what was going on today, with all the banners and signs everywhere.  She told him about me and our cause Multiple Sclerosis.  Their conversation ended and they went their seperate ways.  Jill came back a short time later and he was waiting for her.  He said I wanted to give you something for your fundraiser.  He handed her a check, she said thanks very much and again they parted ways.  Jill did not look at the check until the gentleman was gone and she was back in the cart with Amika.  She opened it up and saw a check for $250.00.  She and Amika tracked us down on the golf course to share the news.  I of course went to tears. 
Later that night we headed back to Niche for dinner, thanks to Big Mike's BBQ.  You have got to try his blue cheese cole slaw.  I died and went to heaven eating it!  The bar filled up, some people we knew and others we did not.  We were blessed to have Long Time Gone our friends Ed and Mike perform for us.  A big treat for all.  Ted thanked everyone and announced the winners (Erika Monty's family ran away with a few prizes!!).  Then Michael was given the microphone to MC the auction.  Michael shared personal information about MS, about me and about this group of people who had come together earlier in the day.  He was able to get folks that had no idea what we were doing that day and night to open their wallets and contribute to a cause they may have known nothing about and a woman they had literally seen introduced only moments before.  Thanks to Ted, Aldo and Bob for putting themselves up on the auction block!  Michael thanks for all your efforts!!
So that sums up our event, short and sweet.  There is a pattern in this summary.  It is a pattern of giving, of one's time, resources, talents, and of course funds.  So many people took part in the golf tournament and auction.  So many volunteered and gave from their hearts.  If you have followed this blog at all you know how blessed I have been in the past by the kindness of others.  Not because they were looking for something in return, because their hearts led them to give something of themselves.  I have a bunch of new friends in town, got to know some I already knew a little bit better and had my core group right there with me.  While I am beyond overwhelmed at the money we were able to raise and the generosity of so many, what really touches my heart is the kindness and love that was shared by so many.  Yes, I want to raise money for a cure & yes, I want to raise awareness for MS...but more importantly to me, is to share God's greatest gift...LOVE.  The Almighty was present that day, in every detail.  He encouraged all of this support. He had everyone in place right where He needed them to be, to do what He needed them to do.    There is no doubt in my mind who's Mighty Hand was held over this event.  I thank God for all of you.  I thank Him for putting you in my life, whether for a reason, a season or a lifetime. 

I leave you with this...
"And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"
1Corinthians 13:13

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