Last night we had our second annual fundraiser at MacGerks Pub and Grill in Fort Washington and it was a huge success! I do not know how much money we raised but I must say (Michelle, our fearless fundraising leader, skip the rest of this sentence) this one is not about the money. This one is about the number of people we have in our lives who support us and our kids. Although most of these people have healthy kids, they somehow understand what it must be like for us and make every effort to show us that they wish the same for us. We feel so unworthy sometimes and do not know how we can possibly thank them enough. They do not feel sorry for us but embrace us with love and support. I am constantly amazed at the people that show up for these events, classmates, work friends, friends of friends, school friends of each child, school friends from our childhoods and friends from the community. I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you.
For now here is my version of my Academy Award acceptance speech....
Thank you to...
the Weszrergoms, Fichters, Bellot families for coming to MacGerks and every event, helping in every way possible and making us laugh! (and Fichters for letting Nathan stalk your oldest daughter and now Bennett stalk your younger one-lucky you! lol)
Aunt Andrea and Uncle Jeff for coming to MacGerks and bringing friends! (and for the Harry Potter Movies for Libby!)
Michelle for organizing this and every other event so that all we have to do is show up!
the Mifflin and Gordon families for bringing your young children to a bar on a Friday night! I was so surprised and excited to see you all!
Ms. Betty for being braver than any grandmom I know and bringing your three grandchildren, ages 4-7 by yourself to a restaurant! It meant so much to have people from work there to support us.
Pop Pop Falcone for bringing a billion of your friends and filling up a huge table in the back. Seeing all their familiar faces and having you fundraise so much in recent months has been amazing! We are unbelievably grateful.
the Irvins, DeKerrillis, Durkins and anyone we may have missed who squeezed in MacGerks before the talent show at the school! Sean we hope your break dancing went well! I'm sure it wasn't ideal to eat so early in order to get to the talent show on time so we appreciate it even more!
the Komorowskis for showing up after selling Girl Scout cookies in Acme for three hours and arriving just as Libby was complaining that none of her friends were there! Thanks Katie!
Garbarini family, thank you for coming to this event for Nathan. He was so happy to see Bryan!
Miss Julia for being Miss Julia, the most mature sixteen year old I know, so mature that I often forget she is a teenager. Thank you for playing endless shuffleboard with the kids and sitting with them by yourself while Mark and I talked to friends.
Lisa and Bob, we are flattered that you spent your date night with us! Thank you for joining Team Nathan and Bennett, not because you were obligated through friendship, family or work but because you are caring and giving people, moved by our story.
the Smedley's an awesome family dealing with a rare genetic condition of their own which has led to blindness for two of their three children. Kristin (aka Mom) went to high school with Mark; however, they had not seen each other since then. Although it was the first time we met the family, we felt an instant connection as parents of two special needs kiddos, helping them navigate a mostly typical world.
Nick Demateo for coming to EVERY single event, bringing tons of people, donations and ideas for fundraisers. We certainly do not deserve the time and energy that this man has given our cause.
Well look at that, I didn't want to bore but I did anyway!
I know there are other people that I have not mentioned or did not see but we appreciate everyone who came out and or donated.
Sometimes when I think about the people that support us, it is not always the big donors that make a difference in our lives. It is the people mentioned above and the people who help us keep going on a daily basis, who help us have the energy to be good parents and stay (mostly) sane. It's the kids that walk towards our kids instead of away from them, the adults who love our kids as if they were their own and teachers who are not afraid to push them. The friends who ask us how we are doing, really want to know and listen to the rant that often follows. Family and friends who watch one or two of our kids so that we can focus on another that is needing attention at the time. Neighbors who bring dinner when 'what to have for dinner' seems like an insurmountable task! Friends and family who are not afraid to complain to us, ask us for advice or ask us for help because they know that we need to feel needed and need to get away from our stuff every once in a while to feel normal!
So thank you to everyone in our lives who makes up our village!