Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Staying Busy, Fundraising Update

Charlotte had a great day yesterday and a very good am this morning.

Yesterday consisted of CJ going out and about with Aunt Amy on her last day here. They went to lunch at (guess where?) and then Barnes & Noble's to read stories and play with the train table, then back to (guess where?) for milk shake shakes. Then they came home and hung out here until Rachel and I came home.

Rachel worked at Romp n' Roll and I went around putting up posters for the concert/blooddrive. I was getting it done pretty well until I got a call from Rachel letting me know there was something wrong with the AC. So I headed home to gather up the fans and then to the store.

One side seemed to be working properly but it's not enough for the whole store so the art room was sweltering. We called the AC company and they're supposedly sending someone out today. Sure hope so.

So I got to go back out to deliver some more posters/flyers to friendly local businesses.

Then it was back to RNR for our big staff meeting to tell everyone about the new BIG IDEA! which is a new level of Birthday Bash called an Awesome Adventure Party and the accompanying promotional offer.

I feel it was a great meeting I was pretty excited about things afterward. When we got home we just chilled the rest of the evening, talked to Aunt B on the Hopecam, watched my one television guilty pleasure (Primeval from the BBC) and went to bed at a relatively normal time.

This morning, Amy left :-( and CJ and did all kinds of stuff. We took Noah to the vet to check on the gash on his head and get his shots current, we went to the Ashland Library to vote and got to hear a little of storytime with Jamie, Larson, Alexander (but not Bob) and the Morris family, found an amazing book called, Imagine A World with some very good perspective pictures kind of ala Escher, stopped off at the Randolph-Macon College Bookstore to pick up bracelet money (almost $400! And of course they fawned all over her), and then went to Ashland Breakfast and Lunch because CJ wanted pancakes. Unfortunately for us, they don't serve breakfast past a certain hour. BUT! They pulled out the batter just for Charlotte and she got a couple of pancakes! Thanks to Renee and all there.

Now we're home waiting for Mommy to come back from the first day of camp! From what I heard, it was tremendously successful. I have to cover front desk for an hour or so and then teach a couple of our Week-Of-Free-Preview classes.

The weather for the first concert on Thursday is looking like there might be an isolated t-storm here and there so bring an umbrella just in case! Shouldn't be enough to drive us inside but we'll be ready just in case.

Well Rachel is here so I'll sign off. Just letting you all know the initial response to our Amazing Birthday Bash deal has been very strong already.

Keep cruizin' the CB sites. There are lots of amazing stories goin on!


Another busy day! I spent the morning at Romp n' Roll camp. Our staff was awesome and the kids had a great time! The summer is off and running.

We finally got the AC fixed (hooray) so all is well with the universe again. Not too much damage (physically or financially) so that is good as well.

We wished Aunt Amy farewell as she returned to her family in Ohio. Amy and I met in grad school at ASU and while we haven't stayed in very close touch since graduation, we have certainly remained in each other's hearts. I sincerely value her friendship and it was so good to see her again. (HUGS to you, girl!)

Charlotte has been rather moody the last week or so. Her independent streak has been very strong lately. She has definitely preferred more independent (rather than social) activities and even seems to shy away from some social engagements. I certainly don't blame her. Sometimes I think the attention is a bit daunting. We're just trying to read her moods and let her take things at her own pace.

We have some new information regarding our treatment direction. We will meet with Dr. Khan and Dr. Chung (the radiation oncologist) on Thursday to go over some options for radiation including the timeline. Dr. Khan also indicated that he is in communication with Dr. Wolff at MD Anderson and we should have a report from them soon.

Meanwhile, I thought I would take some time to give some thanks and offer some updates on our various fundraising efforts. Since our first "official" fundraiser with the Head Shaving Party, we have had over $14,000 raised on Charlotte's behalf. This includes money raised for:
o Prayers for Charlotte Bracelets
o the Head Shaving Party (over $5K!)
o Everything But Water and Five Below events (still waiting to receive some more money from the additional Five Below sales)
o 50/50 raffle at the Ashland Coffee and Tea concert
o Qdoba Burrito Eating Contest (final total on that event = $975!)
o Glen Allen Golf Fundraiser
o A bake sale at Trinity Church in Fredericksburg (our "old" home church) organized by the Middle School Youth
o Pancake Dinner held by the Middle School Youth of St. James the Less
o Money collected from various kid's birthday parties in Charlotte's honor (in lieu of presents)
Not to mention the various, random, and very valued donations that have come to us from friends, family, and strangers. Some, like the Head Shaving Party, are rather large. Other fundraisers have produced small sums but every little bit counts. We have paid out plus or minus $10,000 already in medical expenses and travel expenses for Houston.

We are also incredibly grateful for the gift cards for restaurants, cooked and prepared meals, small gifts, and homemade treasures that have found their way to our home. All of these things have helped make our life a little easier at this time. I'm just saying this now because I know that some of you have received personal thank you notes from us. Some of you will probably receive more down the line. And some of you will never receive an actual "card" that says THANK YOU. But please know that our "attitude of gratitude" (as my step-dad likes to say) is ever-present at this time. We are so grateful to our friends, family, customers, the community of Ashland, and all of those people around the country and the world who are supporting us at this time.

If our treatment regimen continues as we think it will, there will be more medical bills (thanks to idiotic insurance). Each round of high dose chemo and bone marrow transplant stands to cost us (out of pocket) up to $10000 so you get the picture.

Not to mention that anything that might be "left over" when all is said and done is going straight into the Foundation that Roger is developing. More on that to come but let's just say that we are already working on ways to "pay it forward" when we're done with all this mess.

Word on the street is that Make A Wish will be coming our way to interview the "Princess" in late June. We will see what she has to say. When we asked her where she would want to go if she could go ANYWHERE she wanted, she said "Carter Park" (which is the park in our neighborhood). All we tell her is to DREAM BIGGER...MUCH BIGGER!

So some big events coming up in the next few weeks:
On the treatment end, we will hopefully get some new direction on dates for radiation to start. That will likely be outpatient for about 6 weeks.

o Come on out to Rompy's Summer Concert Series this Thursday for Clay Mottley and the Taters. 5:30 PM at Virginia Center Marketplace (in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot). As Roger says, we're collecting "Food for the Food Bank, Blood for the Blood Bank and $$ for CJ's bank" We will have another concert on July 9th and ANOTHER on August 20th so if you miss the fun this time, there will be more fun to come.
o The Home-Based Business Bazaar will be June 27th at St. Ann's Church in Ashland. Come out and support some of our friends from Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Avon, Happy Gardener, and MORE. They are selling their wares and donating a portion of their proceeds back to Charlotte. A silent auction will be held as well. Start your Christmas shopping early!
Finally, some folks have asked about Charlotte's birthday (yes, it's ONLY a month away!!!). First of all, she does not need ANY presents. We have a house full of goodies so gifts are completely unnecessary. Any celebration that will be had will be a complete and total celebration of her and her LIFE. We have not made any definite plans yet and we may just gauge things based on how she is feeling and where her treatment regimen is in about a month. It is very possible that we may delay her "official" celebration by a few weeks. As usual, we will keep you updated.

Ok, so that's all I have to say for now. I have a boat-load of paperwork to siphon through and as it's already almost 9 PM I can only imagine how un-productive I will continue to be. Sigh. Where does the day go?

Signing off...

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