Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Wrap Up...but wait...there's more!

As usual, there is so much to talk about you don't know where to start.

I will start with the most recent and pressing news and push forward.  Don't forget as August comes to a close that Nichole Frise is selling her Mary Kay wares for CJSTUF.  Any orders placed before Tuesday will benefit CJSTUF.  Treat yourself to a makeover or stock up on holiday gifts. 

Speaking of our Business of the Month I will take this time to let you know that we are BOOKED through February with local and home-based businesses who will be doing their part for CJSTUF.  Every little bit helps and we are excited and appreciative to partner with local entrepreneurs.  A sneak peek towards September and October:

September's Business of the Month will be local author and entrepreneur extraordinaire Kate Hall sharing her childrens book Richmond Rocks More info to come in a future post but we will be selling signed copies of her book and a portion of the sales will come back to CJSTUF in September.  Woo hoo!

October's Business of the Month will be M.Chase Photography.  Do you need beautiful family portraits for those ubiquitous holiday cards?  This is a great opportunity!  More details on Madison's beautiful website but mark your calendars for October 16th or give her a call today to set up your own photo session.  

In running news
Roger will be trekking it through Ashland this Saturday for the Patrick Henry Half Marathon.  I have duties at Romp n' Roll so if you're in the area, come out to cheer for the Mother Runner. No official word yet on whether the ladies raised that $1K and got him the pink running skirt BUT if they do, this is not an event to be missed.  I hope someone has a camera.

Roger's essay recalling his inspiration for running is featured in the August newsletter on the Chicago Marathon website.  Out of hundreds of entrants to the contest (and thousands of entrants in the marathon), Roger's essay was one of about a dozen chosen.   Hope it results in some good PR for CJSTUF too!

This fall weather reminds us that it's almost FOOTBALL SEASON!  In fact, College Game Day is coming soon.  The UM and VT camps are running neck and turkey-neck in the fundraising efforts so here is your challenge: take a pledge form to your next tailgate/gamewatch/football party.  You don't have to be a Hokie or a Hurricane.  We want Cavaliers and Spiders and Tribesmen (women) and even those Seminoles (I shudder as I write that) to do their part in Roger's Double Marathon effort.  Every little bit helps!  Our goal is $10K and we're already almost halfway there. 

We've got some 'Canes over here!
Now for a few moments of advocacy for some of our friends... 

The folks at Miras Movement contacted us about spreading the word regarding brain tumor research funding that is currently making its way through Congress.  If you are willing and able, please visit the Advocacy section of our website (it's new!) with information about WHY this bill is important and HOW you can contact your DC representatives to advocate for this important bill.  

ALSO our good friends at ReeseStrong are registering for the 2nd annual ReeseStrong 5K .  We were so fortunate to benefit from the event last year.  Much of the money that was raised for our cause actually became seed money for CJSTUF when we found it would not be necessary for medical bills.  This year, the Kids Run is benefitting a 9 year old girl named Aileen with a brain tumor.  Please register today for the race on September 18th!  Maybe we can have a butterfly brigade?!? 

Ok, I think that does it for our major news.  On a personal note, I was able to get away to Boone, NC for a few days and it was a great time for rest, relaxation, and reflection.  This has been a week of vacation for The Faison School so I'm using it as an opportunity to catch up on projects big and small. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August Part II

As I write this, I'm listening to Tchaikovsky's"Pathétique" Symphony (#6 for you music geeks). Might not be a good idea. We'll see.

August is so crammed with stuf that we needed two blog posts to get it all in. The most immediate thing going on is Rompy's Summer Concert to Benefit CJSTUF. That's TOMORROW! All the final details are coming together and even if it rains, it will be a great time. Our featured performer will be Vinx. He's not to be missed.

It will be at Stonewall Square Shopping Center at 6300 Mechanicsville Tpke in Mechanicsville from 5:30-7:30. We've got a boatload of generous sponsors who are making it so that CJSTUF doesn't have to pay a thing which means all raffles and such are going to the Foundation 100%. We can't thank them enough.

There will also be other organizations present. The VA Blood Services Bloodmobile will be there so if you're eligible, please plan to give blood. I understand they will be bringing the "big" bus where people can do a "double" donation. That's a lot of lives affected by just one act of kindness. Many of the friends we've met in clinic or even via the internet still have serious struggles ahead of them including frequent blood/platelet transfusions. It's gotta come from somewhere so let's roll up our sleeves! I plan to be first in line.

The other cool organization is the 501st Legion Vader's Fist. A group of Star Wars enthusiasts who dress in officially sanctioned Start Wars costumes and raise funds for good causes. They were at one of our concerts last year and were a huge hit!

(TANGENT: As I listen to this music, I am reminded from where John Williams "borrowed" his theme for Indiana Jones. There might even be ideas for Star Wars lying around in there as well.)

So where was I? Oh yeah, the Star Wars guys will be on hand for photo ops and general tyrannical oppression (Suggested $5 donation, please).

That reminds me, we need some volunteers to help them collect money. That way, they don't have to mess with it. If you want to volunteer in any way, please show up sometime between 4:30-5:00pm. I'm sure we can find something for you to do.

Another fine organization coming to the party is the Hanover County Fire/EMS Engine #7. They'll be bringing at least one truck and will let the little ones climb on to check things out. No cost there.

Other possible vehicles showing up might include:
C&F Bank's "Toaster" car
A race car from Battlefield Service Center
A BMW from Richmond BMW on Midlothian

Romp n' Roll will be open

We are planning to have the concert outside but there is a chance for isolated thunder showers. If that happens, we'll move it inside Romp n' Roll and the vendors can set up under the overhang. It will happen no matter what and it will still be a hoot!

Please bring folding chairs if you'd like. We might actually need an extra table or two. Just throw one in the back of your car just in case! :-)

The next pressing item on the agenda is the Bluemont Concert Series in Ashland. The next concert, to be held at the Hanover Arts & Activity Center will be this Sunday from 7-9pm and CJSTUF has been invited to occupy a bake sale booth. We already have some folks baking things but small batches of very creative, butterfly themed (or just pink and purple) goodies might be very nice to have. They all have to be individually wrapped for sale (groups of things are O.K.). The concert is $10 and we get to keep what we make from the bake sale. We're actually as interested in raising awareness as anything so if you come, don't hesitate to let people know about us. The group is called Mandalele and looks to be very interesting.

Next (in the fourth movement, now. This is the one that really gets to me)

We are planning a special event in cooperation with the Ashland Police Department. It will be on the morning of Saturday, October 2 from 9-12 at a location yet to be determined.

Here's how it will work: We will have a clearly marked area in a parking lot or bus pick-up/drop-off area of a school or church and drivers will voluntarily pull in to be handed a "ticket" by an officer (looking suspiciously like Chief Doug Goodman). The levels of "fine" will be:

$5 for a minor traffic infraction
$10 for a "good tail chewin'" by an officer (think smackdown talk by pro wrestlers)
$25 for a full sobriety test (touch your nose, walk a straight line, ABC's backwards, etc...)

Then you'll proceed to our celebrity judge where the "bailiff" will conveniently take your fine...I mean donation to CJSTUF!

We also hope to have car-side entertainers in case you bring little ones with you. There may also be a playground nearby but that will only be bonus happenstance (love that word!) Any jugglers, stilt walkers, or acoustic musicians out there? Hanover Kids will probably play a roll in the festivities as well.

Here's yet another very cool thing that has just popped up. Unbeknown to us, the website has been setting aside a portion of sales of their discount card for CJSTUF. It seems she has set the deadline for TODAY! So if you would like to get a deal and help out CJSTUF, hop on over to right now. That's ok, I'll wait!

Good, now you're back.

Of course, this update has taken me all day and I've gone through several playlists, all of which were good but not too "moment" inducing. Kind of a nice relief.

I'll sign off for now but I'm sure we'll be back soon enough.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I told you August would be busy!

So the Wine Down Wednesday last week was a BLAST!  Final total for the fundraiser was $575 and it was a great way to get the word out about CJSTUF to a new crowd of people.  A huge thanks to Kate Hall from and the folks at Skirt magazine for sponsoring and promoting the event. 

As the saying goes, time and tide wait for no man so we are headed for MORE fun events this week.  As mentioned in the previous blog post, our Business of the Month for August is Mary Kay cosmetics and Nichole Frise is our Mary Kay representative.  Here are the details:

As you can see, there are opportunities to order online, in person (at the Fall Frenzy party on 8/12 or at the summer concert), or by phone. 

Speaking of the Summer Concert, make sure you have your calendars marked and join us for this great event.  We just added a new sponsor this week: Richmond BMW!  We are excited that they have contributed to our efforts.  Can't wait to see the sample car that they bring to the concert.

Finally, our PayPal account has been re-activated so the DONATE button on our website is fully functional again.  Spread the word!

With everything we have going on, you might be wondering how Roger and I are doing.  As might be expected, we are both extremely busy, easily working about 60 hours a week at the three jobs we are each balancing.  Roger and I can go for a day or two without even seeing each other.  Thank heaven for text messages and email!  I think we're both pretty exhausted and there just isn't enough time in the day. 

Thankfully, Roger's gig with Kings Dominion should end soon and we are slowly transitioning my Romp n' Roll duties to others.  We kind of see a light at the end of the tunnel (September) and hopefully things will calm down a bit.  Until then, we just keep pluggin'.  We are in the process of assembling a team of individuals who will compose our CJSTUF Advisory Council for the end of 2010 and going into 2011.  This team will work with us and our board to plan events, help with publicity, and help us organize and coordinate other volunteers.  Are you interested?  Some of you have already told us that you are. If we haven't called on you formally yet, don't fret.  BUT...if you want to make sure that we know you want to help, please go to the volunteer section of our website and become a part of our database.  I will be using this information over the next month to pull together some committees and get organized!

Roger and I had a chance to work a birthday party together today for the first time in months.  As usual, Roger was completely engaging and silly with the kids and we made a good team.  We had an interesting moment when one of the guests at the party turned out to be a little blonde girl of 4 or so named Charlotte...wearing a t-shirt with a purple butterfly design.  She really didn't look anything like CJ but it was a funny coincidence all the same. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

AUGUST is gonna ROCK!

So who is ready for a fabulous AUGUST?

Now that we have our non-profit status, we are gonna rock the tax-deductible world! Bring it on!

A few of you have asked about our "official" address for reporting to the IRS. Our official address is: 9 Slash Ct. Ashland, VA 23005. I am guessing that they will also recognize our PO Box 854 address as well.

Roger is working feverishly to repair our PayPal account (must send in needed documents, etc.) and then we hope to have the donate button and online ordering available for our CJSTUF products. Remember, you can still place local orders (or even out of town orders) and pay with a check. I understand that a Bald Chicks Rock shirt has already made its way to a cancer patient in Memphis! Awesome!

August seems to be skewing to the ladies with some of our upcoming events. This Wednesday (August 4th) is the Wine Down at the Wine Loft. $5 admission gets you a raffle ticket, great appetizers, and access to a fabulous cash bar with unique and tasty wines. Additional raffle tickets are available for $1 each and I know that Kate Hall from will bring some fabulous swag to give away. There will be a brief presentation on CJSTUF (courtesy of moi) as well as a presentation by the authors of Feng Shui Love, a new book that tells us how to keep the "love corners" in our lives uncluttered. Bring a friend! Bring a date! Bring your neighborhood! (FYI, while the event is geared towards ladies, men are certainly welcome.)

Our Business of the Month for August is Mary Kay cosmetics and Nichole Frise is leading the charge. About 40% of each sale will come back to CJSTUF so now is a great time to get pampered, stock up on some of your favorite products, or even get a head start on your holiday shopping. You can get more information about how to order on the Business of the Month section of our website. Nichole has scheduled a pampering party on August 12th so make plans to attend!

Nichole will also take Mary Kay orders at the Rompy's Summer Concert featuring VINX! on August 19th. A huge thank you to our sponsors, including:

Atlee Chiropractic Center
Jade Enterprises
C&F Bank
Michelle Donachy Photography
Stroller Strides of Richmond
Renovation Resources
Clearsight Ultrasound
The Caboose of Ashland
Battlefield Auto Service Center

Each sponsor will have a table distributing information and/or selling merchandise to raise funds for CJSTUF. The concert is FREE but we will be selling CJSTUF t-shirts and decals. We will also have kids activities, opportunities to donate blood to VA Blood Services, firetrucks and ambulances for the kids to check out (courtesy of the Hanover Fire and Rescue) and tons of other fun stuff. It will all take place in the Stonewall Square parking lot (home of Romp n' Roll Mechanicsville) on Thursday, August 19th, 5:30-7:30 PM.

Very soon, Roger and I will be purchasing our airline tickets to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10! As football season approaches, don't forget to take a pledge form (downloadable from our Double Marathon page on the CJSTUF website) to all your tailgate parties and football watching gatherings.

I think that the VT crew is leading the charge but there are plenty of UM folks who won't stand for Roger to wear the Maroon and Orange (even though he would look cute in a turkey suit)! Furthermore, I know some Cavaliers who don't take too kindly to Hokie colors either. Roger's goal is to raise $10,000 with these two marathons. Let's make it happen!