February finally rolled around and and it signaled the home stretch of Bri’s radiation treatments. The final day would be Valentines Day and it could not come soon enough for us but, I am sure, even more so for Brianna. February also brought us closer to the benefit dinner that would be held on the 5th. Ashley Cassilli and Mandy Wilson has been working hard on this event and had lined up many volunteers, the venue, the food, and everything else. Our former church, Mt. Gilead, had graciously agreed to allow the event to take place there. I am sure we have no idea of all the people that worked behind the scenes that we do not know about and we want them to know that we are grateful.
Leading up to the event gift baskets were made up for a silent auction and businesses and groups donated needed items or cash to purchase the items needed for the meal. Photos by Lou (Lindy Scott) was raffling off a photo session and asked us if we would like to have our family photos taken. The picture would be used to show those in attendance the quality of her work. She did an awesome job. She even framed a very large shot for us and it is shown below.
The next shot is very special to me.
And the next one shows all God’s children that he has so graciously allowed us to raise. They are each a wonderful blessing to us in their own ways.
We were also approached before the event about selling tshirts. Bill and Kim Bauer, owners of Rock Jaw Sports, wanted to make up shirts and sell them at the dinner and all proceeds would be donated to our family as well. Bill and Kim have been a huge blessing to our family. I would ask that you give them a call for all of your uniform needs or if you need shirts made for any event. In the catalog Kim shared with us there were shirts for reunions, sports teams, and much more. They made up the shirts you see below and gave them to us to wear on the 5th. Thank you all so much.
The morning of the dinner rolled around and it snowed like crazy most of the day. Everyone was concerned about what kind of a turnout there would be because the weather was making travel a little unsafe. We got to the church and all who questioned the turnout were surprised. The parking lot was packed and friends and strangers filled the auditorium from start to finish. The silent auction was a great success and we had some awesome entertainment. Brett Fisher had mentioned the band he is a member of playing at the event and I was immediately all for it. I had heard the band, Straight Street, on a couple of occasions and God really gave all of those guys wonderful talent. Paul Uhls, guitarist and vocalist, acted as the emcee of the night’s festivities as well and did a great job. Ken Maze played bass for the band and he rounded out the members that were Mt. Gilead worship team members with me when I sang with them. We also had young Miss Ashley Cox playing the fiddle, or was it a violin, for us as well. She did excellent and had great poise for playing to a packed house. And we got to hear some Taylor Swift sung by young Miss Taylor Jelley. Great job Taylor.
I also received numerous compliments throughout the evening on the service during the dinner. I continued to hear compliments for weeks after the dinner as well. Many of the players in the Mafia organization proudly wore their Mafia jerseys and they helped refill drinks, clean tables, and help out in any way that they could. For those of you involved that may be following this blog, I am sure your parents are proud of you and our family thanks you very much.
As I said before, Ashley and Mandy put in weeks of work on this event and many other parents really put alot of effort into making this event happen. We thank you all so much. And, I can’t say enough about Ric Everman, “The Godfather” of Mafia softball, for giving his blessing over this entire event and for his compassion to us for many months after this event ended. You would think that being blown away by the Mafia would be a bad thing, but it was all good for us. This event has paid many bills for us and we are truly grateful to each and every person that either worked, donated, or participated. Our community came out huge for us. God Bless you all!