Thursday, October 18, 2012

Every Day Is A Bonus!

That's one of our catch phrases.

It evolved during Charlotte's treatment out of the realization that we may be spending our last days with her.  It's our statement that no matter how inconvenient it may be to have to wait at the toll booth, or find that a piece of technology isn't working correctly, or to get mayo on your burger (when you expressly ordered one with NO MAYO!), it's all pretty insignificant when compared to the fact that the time you have to spend with loved ones is finite and can end at any moment.

Every Day Is A Bonus!

Like anyone, we find ourselves losing sight of this, occasionally (not very often but it happens).  We need reminders that Every Day Is A Bonus which is why we wear the bracelets, have photographs of Charlotte all over the place, and spend nearly every free moment we have working on/thinking about CJSTUF stuf.

Bedonna Wakeman's piece
The Fall Art Auction is coming up tomorrow at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen and we're all working feverishly to get everything in place.   Besides the fact that it's a cool fundraiser, it's also one of those big reminders.  It's a reminder to us that what really matters isn't how much money we bring in but the fact that so many wonderfully talented artists have donated pieces for our event - everything from pieces of jewelry to a beautiful 4' X 5' painting from Pirate Alley Artist Bedonna Wakeman to a "commissioned" piece from one of our youngest contributors, Ani Checkosky.

These artists remind us that Every Day Is A Bonus!

There are also the volunteers who will be giving of their valuable time to make sure we have an event worth attending.  This includes three live interactive artists who will actually be creating pieces during the event to be auctioned off at the end of the evening.  There are also Brothers of Alpha Phi Omega from Randolph-Macon College, auctioneer Marlynn Turner, and of course, members of our amazing Board who will be helping to remind us.

The generous sponsors and those who have donated in lieu of tickets because they are able to attend remind us.

And the end result of it all,  besides keeping US centered, is continued support of the families in the best way we can with the resources we have been allowed to gather from you.

Now if we have a bit of fun while we gather those resources, can anyone blame us?  Because, "Hey, if you can't boogie, then what's the use?"

Did I mention the chocolate dessert bar with chocolate fountain?  What about the wine donated by Ian at the Caboose in Ashland or the very special surprise that we will be unveiling?  Reminders, reminders, reminders...

Tell those you love that you do.

Every Day Is A Bonus

Even now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Right Now, Standby...

Let’s focus today’s post on the nuts and bolts of what’s going on with the Foundation RIGHT NOW.

The picture to the right is of the latest round of $500 financial assistance grants headed out in the mail today.  Five more families helped.  Five more unbearable situations made a tiny bit more bearable.  That brings the total number of families helped since CJSTUF’s inception to 95 (We’ll be hitting 100 soon enough)!  That doesn’t include the hundreds of people fed during the Lunch Bunch and other meals programs facilitated by the Foundation or the emergency financial assistance provided in the form of utility bills paid, gas cards purchased, etc...

There’s only one way these things happen and that’s through your generosity.  Roger and Rachel Reynolds, The Board ofDirectors, and all involved with CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation would like to thank everyone who have helped make this year more successful that we could have possibly imagined.  And it’s not over yet.

Our most recent fundraisers, The Amazing Raise and the Groupon Grassroots Campaign, have raised over $4,000 ($2,300+ of that guaranteeing at least 7 Lunch Bunch meals which will feed no less than 420 people).

The next thing is the Eagle Rare Award contest that continues into January.  People can vote once every 24 hours.

Now, the 500lb gorilla in the room is the Fall Art Auction on Friday, October 19 at the Cultural Art Center in Glen Allen.  There will be a dessert bar including chocolate fountain (YUM!), wine donated by The Caboose in Ashland, live and silent auctions with a variety of pieces ranging in value from $20 to $1,800, and (here’s the really cool part) three interactive artists who will be creating pieces during the evening.  Those pieces will be auctioned off at the end of the evening.

Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased here.

The future holds the kind of promise that can only come from seeing the exit of a very dark tunnel after being trapped inside for an extremely long time.

There will be wonderful Businesses Of The Month in November and December.  Please standby for details.

Initial plans are underway for a benefit bluegrass festival on Saturday, July 20, 2013 and a 1,000-mile bicycle ride in 2014; no official date as of today. (Mr. Roger needs a good road bike)

And yet, there are still other plans that are too early in the works to mention here.

For RIGHT NOW, please buy your tickets to the Fall Art Auction, vote for Rachel every 24 hours, and start getting your holiday shopping lists together to fill at our Nov. and Dec. Businesses Of The Month.

All you can do for the future events is standby…