It's getting late and I have to be up at 5am...4 hours and 40 minutes from now. I've been wanting to post about our night at the March of Dimes event, "Fund the Mission". We were completely overwhelmed with how many people were involved and how many of Anchorage elitists showed up. We didn't get to see many of the different items that were up for auction but one that got my attention was 2 roundtrip tickets donated by Continental to Houston where you would watch either 2 or 3 Astros games of your choice from the box suites. Also included was an autographed bat and jersey from the team. I'm probably wrong about this but I think Sam said that went for over $9000 (I'm doubting myself, that might have been another item). There were LOTS of amazing trips and items up for auction not to mention I believe the cost per person just to get in the door was $150. We made a rough estimate that there was over 600 people in attendance!! That's a lot of money.
Here is a picture to give you an idea of the setup. On the stage were the best chefs from Anchorage. One of them came up and talked to us before our portion of the evening. He was very thankful and very nice to us. We felt honored.
So we arrived at about 8:00 knowing that our short part of the evening wasn't until almost 9:00. That was our big dilemma in whether or not we were going to attend, how late it was and what that meant for the girls. Certainly, it got rougher as the night wore on but they were troopers.
We made our entrance and were announced along with 2 other families (one more couldn't make it because of a sick baby). Immediately, we could feel ALL eyes on us. The girls are just so darn cute...it was obvious all 600 people were watching every move they made. We could hear the constant "oooooo's" and "aaawwwwweeee's". What was great was we asked Sam to come with us and take some pictures. He did a phenomenal job but as a bonus, the girls are in love with Sam. So when we got to the stage, we told them to look for Sam in the back of the room and blow him kisses and wave.
I don't know if they ever saw him way back there but they were blowing kisses and waving like they meant it! The crowd ate it up.
We stood off to the side with the other families while one of the local doctors told everyone about each family and what we went through. As loud as the crowd had been minutes leading up to this and during the auction...you could hear a pin drop. It was amazing. It brought tears to my eyes to see our family and even moreso, Lisa and the girls, at the center of attention. It made me so proud to think of how far we've come and inspired by the thought that we might have helped raise a little more money that night.
Now unfortunately, they got a few facts wrong. Lisa delivered 9 weeks early, not 7. And somehow, they reversed their names!!
After everyone's stories were told, one of the mothers got up and went into specifics about her boy's tough entry into the world. It was very emotional and powerful. As designed, they used the emotions and went straight into some of the big ticket auctions. We slid away to the back of the room where we started to gather our things to head home. A camera man came up to me and asked if I would hold the girls for a picture. I thought he meant a "still" photo. Not exactly. He was running the video camera so he put me and the girls up on the big screen while the auctions were going on. Brilliant strategy but I saw a flaw...it was after 9 by now and the girls were READY TO GO!!!
Solution? I found Sam who happened to be on the other side of the camera man. The girls found him too and resumed blowing kisses and waving. To the audience, it looked like they were blowing kisses and waving to everyone so again we could hear people laughing and awe'ing. I have to admit, it was pretty sweet.
That lasted for a few minutes and it was go time. Since the auction was still going on and it was obvious the cameraman liked using us, we let the girls play around while the guy filmed them for everyone to see. That was tough because...well, everything the girls did and we did was on display for a very large group of people to see. I never knew when I was on camera and when I wasn't so it made for a weird 10 or 15 minutes. Anyway, by 9:30 or so the girls were DONE.
We made our way downstairs and fought with them to get their coats on and in the car. All things considered, they did GREAT! It made us feel great to help this worthy cause, even if they were just using us for our cute babies!
Thanks to Sam for getting all dressed up and attending with us and being our official photographer. Without him, we'd have none of these great pictures to share. Plus he took several videos that I need to edit down so they will fit on youtube. Hopefully I can finish that soon.
Alarm goes off in 4 hours now. Lisa and I are going fishing...the same trip that I took my dad on a couple weeks ago. The weather is going to be perfect so it should be a BLAST!!