22 March 2010

Doing Our Part

Many of you - even if you are reading my blog for the first time - have likely heard about little Sofia and Jennifer & Hector's journey to adopt her from an Eastern European orphanage.
The moment Jen announced their plans to adopt, the sisterhood jumped into action. The Sanchez family needed help to raise the $25,000 it would take complete the adoption process.

As we were all reacting on Facebook to the news, Sheree threw out an idea... in fact, it was THE first concrete idea for fundraising thrown out... "How about a crab feed?"

And we never looked back.

Fast forward eight weeks (yes, only eight weeks!) and THE MOST AMAZING GROUP OF WOMEN I have ever had the pleasure of knowing threw the best crab feed I've ever seen. And the classiest.

We took this room...

and in about two hours transformed it into this...

and two hours later things were swinging! We had a packed house! Nearly sold out - almost 160 people bought tickets! And they enjoyed all-you-could-eat salad, bread, pasta, crab, and dessert.

We had an awesome silent auction (this picture truly doesn't do it justice)...

a no-host bar...

SofiaBucks designed by Monica and sold throughout the night by Monica and Sheree as a way to raise extra money (and Sheree got all us volunteers awesome tees to wear at the event!)...

Amazing signage created by Jen's sister-in-law...

And here's Monica introducing Jen and Hector, and telling the crowd Sofia's story...

I know. I know. You want to know how much money we raised. We're still crunching numbers (we had previous ticket sales, online donations, etc. so I'm working on a final figure)... but I promise it will be announced soon - later this week - by Jen and Hector :)

The best parts of the whole evening? Here's my top five...
  1. Working with nearly 40 (40!) volunteers who worked their butts off to pull off an event that none of them had ever done before (with the exception of our head chef - without Jim we truly could not have done it).
  2. Witnessing the amazing support of our community - both broadly and the Ds community (we even had some families with wee-little-ones there... it was their first big event meeting other families who have a child with Ds... imagine if your first experience meeting other families was an event designed to rescue an orphan with Ds and all you saw was love and support pouring from the hearts of everyone in every direction!)
  3. Seeing adults with Down syndrome who used their own funds to not only purchase a ticket to the event, but donate money to help Jen and Hector adopt Sofia. One young woman (she is 18 years old) contacted me in advance because she wanted to buy 2 tickets (one for herself and one for her mother) to the crab feed - she LOVES crab - but she had spent all of her Social Security money on her prom dress (!!!!!)... she wanted to know if she could post-date her check so we would cash it after her next SS check was deposited (of course, that's what we did!). And she bid on an item in the silent auction donated by Lisa (a beautiful bag and an autographed copy of Gifts 2) - the young lady kept checking the item and every time she saw she was still in the lead (or placed a higher bid to get back in the lead) she would cheer with excitement and give her mom hugs and high fives. And she won the item. 
  4. Standing with a group of women who have a child with Ds to support another mama we all love dearly (and many of them not only helped behind the scenes, but most served dinner or worked in the kitchen - not exactly glamorous)... I can't even begin to tell you how much Jen, Sheree, Monica, Chrystal, Jonna, Jenni, Gina, Susan, Sarah G., Heather, Sarah P., Nancy, Debbie all mean to me.
  5. Realizing part way through the dinner that this guy...
  is about to have a new friend brought me to tears...


  1. This is so cool. Congratulations!

  2. This is great. Congrats.

    Windmills and Tulips

  3. How wonderful for all of you!! Congratulations on such a successful event:)

  4. Oh, your killin me... I'm over here crying wishing I could have been there helping! You guys are awesome.

  5. TEARS, TEARS, TEARS!!!!!!! You know how I feel about you and our sisterhood. Words cannot describe the love I have for all of you!

  6. I have to ask for permission to use some of your photos since Hector got so busy chatting he didn't take hardly ANY photos :(!!!!

  7. It was an awesome night. Thanks, Jen & Sheree for choosing black t-shirts... I almost don't look hugely prego LOL! Anyway, can't wait to hear how successful it was in $'s, but being there all night, I KNOW it was a huge success in more ways than just monetarily. There was an amazing community spirit and a feeling of satisfaction for helping out with a WONDERFUL, LIFE-GIVING cause. YOU, Lisa, were the backbone to the event. AMAZING!

  8. So wonderful and amazing and I can't wait to be that little girl's honorary auntie!

  9. And...it was such an honor to finally meet you! Great job putting this thing together, you guys have a great group in SAC! My friends here in Fairfield/Vacaville want to come out for more visits with you all!

  10. amazing work! you guys inspire me!

  11. WOW, what an amazing event!!! Congratulations to all of you who pulled it together! I hope Sofia can come home soon.

  12. Wow, the awesome-ness of this has me crying!! I really need to stop reading blogs at work because it's getting hard to explain the tears, LOL!