Having two older brothers, I understand how close the bond can be between a brother and sister. Especially older brothers and younger sisters.
I've followed John's journey since the first day.Every day they post a blog or update, I am amazed at how doors are opening and how many good people are stepping up to be part of it.
The Oakland Raiders have been a huge support for the ride and much to my dismay, the Chargers haven't returned any of our phone calls or emails. The original idea came from Dottie, the front office administrative assistant at Monte Vista Headquarters. On September 25th, she mentioned getting a bunch of Charger's fans together and taking a huge picture. I immediately loved the idea. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible for me to do something simple. I suggested we turn it into a fundraiser but we knew cookies and cupcakes probably wouldn't raise much. So my mind started racing. I told Dottie we could keep it simple. burgers, chips, water. Easy. My text to her was : "That's a great idea!! Wonder if we'd have time to put together a little fundraiser. Like sell burgers or something. That's probably too complicated though". Then it was on like donkey kong! Well that lead to cupcakes then face painting. Then someone offered to dress up as Smokey Bear (side note for those that didn't know.. the "the" is no longer in his name). Then someone offered a sound system so we would have music. The water was donated by the fire station on the compound. The Union chapter donated $250 to help with the cost of food. Everything fell into place. We had about 2 weeks to get it all together. 12 days to be exact. Because we were having it at a CAL FIRE facility, there had to be quite a few Chiefs involved and many approvals made. On October 1 we got the final approval we needed and we were off.
Today I went to Costco to pick up the burgers etc. While in line I was able to share with a couple people about Lauren's Ride. One of them made a donation right there.
Rain had been coming down most of the morning and all day yesterday. I was praying the rain would stop. I also kept having this feeling that no one was going to show up. Right there in the Costco parking lot, I prayed. I asked God to bless this fundraiser. I asked that things would continue to fall into place like they had been over the previous 2 weeks.
Tonight was more than I could have ever hoped for. The music was great, everyone was pitching in to help, the kids were having a blast playing with Smokey Bear, the kids got to ride in the fire engine, two engines from San Miguel Fire came over. When San Miguel Truck 15 pulled in, I looked at Ali and started crying. All I could say was "wow". The rain had stopped a couple hours before the BBQ started and people just kept coming. We even got a phone call from John and Tony! I had no idea they were going to call. Dottie knew and thought she had told me but I never got the memo. That was definitely the highlight of my evening. You can hear the deep gratitude they have for everything people have done. I have greatly enjoyed following John on his journey across the country.
Once we counted the money we realized how much we had raised. $1100!! My hope was for $500. We bought enough food for 100 people and we wanted to sell all of it. We definitely thought that was a realistic goal. When this first started I had the number $1000 in my head. I didn't think we would get to that but I really wanted to. My hands were shaking while I was counting the money. That total isn't the final amount just yet. i have a few returns I need to do and that money will go into the donation as well.
Thanks to all who supported this ride, fundraiser and my crazy ideas! And most of all thank you to God. He opened every door for this and blessed it. My cup runneth over.
|Some of the people that came out to support the fundraiser and Lauren's Ride.|