This is Angie. Angie is the ultimate board member. She works and works hard! She, her husband, Mickey, and her son, Beaux, were all there the entire weekend to help... from set up to clean up/ tear down. Know what I think is the coolest thing?! Her son is in junior high. He is learning from his mama and daddy what it means to serve with compassion, to work hard for a good cause, and to do so without complaining and with a smile on your face. THAT, my friends, is a legacy to leave! Thank you, Angie.
We had volunteers who came and set up to put feathers in peoples' hair. The feathers were red, lime green, and white/black striped. Super cute!
And then, Nurse Terri showed up. Nutse Terri was an ICU nurse at St. Jude. She was a good friend, who decided this would be the year she would make the 5 hour trip down from Memphis to attend the Shake. After all, she took care of lots of the babies whose mamas were at the Shake.
And this is Courtney and Lindsay. They were a couple of the ones in the crowd who went the wild and crazy route, monogramming their shirts, making wing jewlery, getting Believe goodies, and obviously wearing lime green accoutrements!
This is Dawn and Tina. They are a couple of the mamas whose babies are now playing with Jake. They come year after year to celebrate the lives of these three boys and to help raise money for families who are now walking in the same shoes.
And this is Dee. Or Dawn. Or "snekcip" if you pay attention to the blog comments!
She hopped her sassy little tail into her car, threw in a four year old, and told Texas, "I'll see ya on Sunday!" She drove all the way from Beaumont, TX, only because she has read about the event and has always wanted to be here for it. She stayed at JinJin's house! I've asked her to write up her experience to share since I would imagine everyone now knows what to expect from my perspective of the event and would like to hear from someone else!
And this is Hayden and a couple of his friends. For whatever reason, I remember Clay, but I can't remember the girl's name. Trish?! Sorry, Hayden's female friend! Anyway, Hayden is Stanton's brother. Hayden and I used to come up with all the "fun" things to do with those two boys when we were all staying at the Ronald McDonald House or inpatient at the Jude. That gave the mamas and daddies some down time, and besides Hayden and I pretty much liked playing anyway!
Hey, Hayden, remember that time when it snowed and we took the Hummer to the grocery store parking lot and spun out in circles?! Yeah. good times. Safe, Mel. Really safe! Tina, did we ever share that story with you?!
These three darling divas are from Ruston, and I do believe it was their first Shake event. Nicola, middle, is a mom to a kiddo in my clinic. Emery, on the left is a blog reader. Hey, Emery. Oh wait... you never comment! Shame! Other chick... Mallory. Nice to meet you, Mallory!
This is our banged up crew at the check in table. Polly's story is this... she was out running an errand for the set up and got hit by a little old lady. BJ, were you in town?! Just kidding. Anyway, I get a text that says she just had her heart rate checked and it was 111. She said, "Hey Jake". I texted her back that I wasnt' the least bit surprised. Flash forward a few hours, and I find out about the wreck and that she was texting me from the back of an AMBULANCE! THAT is the kind of volunteers I am talking about! Stillllll thinking about Jake and his impact!
And then there's Aunt Bonnie. She had a fairly major surgery a week ago and hobbled herself to the front door and just inside a bit to take up tickets for Shake 4 Jake. She'd have had to been hit by a train to miss it!! And of course, Aunt Starr is there every single year, as is Uncle Chris! They loved that boy like he was one of their own too.
One of the things I think is neat about Shake 4 Jake is the special touches seen throughout. It really is, as they say, in the details! For example, this heart with wings stamp is what gets you in the door. And by the way, the cuffs FLEW out ! I only have a few more. To those of you who ordered them via email. I sent the first ones I heard from, then had to just pack up and head to Shake on Friday. I'll check the stock and see if any you asked for are still in there. I know Riley, Cindy, and a few more sent me an email.
This is PawPaw Raborn and Margie. They, too, were there throughout the entire set up experience, the whole day of the telethon and Shake, and PawPaw was back to help clean up. Thanks, you two, for being available to handle any job!
This is Jake's store. Have I mentioned that a preliminary count is that they made $12,000 on our handmade jewelry and tee shirts. Not too shabby, eh?!
So, you met Polly earlier. She is the committee head for the volunteers. Anna Lea may just get volunteer of the year! She was up at that convention center both days and helped with absolutely anything we needed! Thanks, Anna Lea, for your undying commitment to the JOR Foundation.So, here's a peek at the room around 6:30. The event started at 6:00. Because you can only fit so many people into the room and still have a small dancefloor, an auction, a buffet line, and a bandstand, there were MANY who had to stand. We did the best we could, but this year, the only people who got a "reserved" table were those who committed $2500 or more. And believe me when I say, there were LOTS of reserved tables. We have a follow up meeting on Wednesday of this week, so there are many "problems" to solve. "Problems" like how to better accomodate so many people.
My MMPT peeps have been supporting my family and this foundation for the past 7 years. Kinda hard to believe! They were there when Jake first received his diagnosis and worked the magic to see that I could get to Memphis- OFTEN! And still today, if it supports the foundation, then well, they are gonna be there! That means a lot to me.
Table two of MMPT peeps. We had a CREW!
Even our sweet little students who are at our clinic doing an internship either bought a tee shirt or showed up to support our cause.
Charlie is our emcee every year. He does a really great job keeping things moving along and keeping the crowd engaged with ongoing raffles, time limits of the silent auction, and etc.
Check out all the names on the banners above. We had over $60,000 in sponsorships. We have such an awesome and supportive community! There were people from all walks of life. Take for instance these two friends. One has on as wild an outfit he could find, complete with green boat shoes (are they still called that!?). And the other, a cowboy, wouldn't be caught dead in lime green anything! It is fun to see all the crazy outfits!
Can you believe how many people were at this cool event?! This is about 75% or so of the crowd.
Everyone listened very attentively as the video played of the kids near and far who've had cancer, as well as the interviews which were conducted with one family recently. Oh, and a parent of a local kid with a brain tumor (now cancer free!) also took the mic and told their family's story and how the JOR Foundation helped when they really needed it.
There was really something for everyone. A whole lotta activity!
Todd's parents came from Orlando, FL, for the big night. They know how committed Todd and I are to this organization, so they wanted to come see what all the fuss is about. Well, now they know! They said they knew from what we told them it was a big deal, but being here helped them realize how much actual work goes into this weekend. AND how many turn out to enjoy it and give generously to help it grow. Recognize any of these LA Tech co-eds!? Hmmm? Well, I'll give you a hint. There's a brunette who was dancing with her date who kept getting a tap on the shoulder or maybe even an actual physical intervention by her surrogate daddy, Todd the Bod! You got it. KK! This year she got to see what we've been doing every year while we ask her to keep our kids. She's onto us now! Thank goodness for Mary Allison.
CoCo is on the bottom left. Her little sister, Julianne, joined Mary Allison in the babysitting department. Remember her from the beach? Those have got to be the wealthiest teenagers around! Oh, and bottom right is Brittany. Brittany reads my blog. Good girl! so, shout out to Brit! Heeeeeyyy! Hope y'all had a good time.
And this is Kim. Kim is a physical therapist in my Ruston clinic. She is pictured with Nicola. Nicola is mom to one of the cutest kids I've ever seen and we get to see him every week in the same said clinic!
Here's Lori. She was my jewelry making compadre! I am talking we made jewelry until LATE on Friday night to have plenty of extra things to sell. I appreciate you ,Lori, for all you did, as well as for all the comic relief!
As the night wore on, there were cellphones coming out everywhere and pictures were posted all over Facebook. Speaking of pictures, there are pics taken by the band on their website,
Flyby radio.com Go check that out. And don't hold me responsible for anything! That was late night. Just sayin!And finally, there were some newbies at the event. This is Anna Lea and her cousin, Jason and his wife, Nicole. They almost didn't 'make it, but I promised them it would be worth it. Same is true for you. Next year, you should just jump in your car and head to Louisiana! It will be inspiring... no doubt about it. I'll let Dee tell you more about it this week.