Monday, 26 March 2012

Success..the day after

Well this is to let you all know I survived.  It was nip and tuck.  I actually have no idea how long the auction went.  I think about 11:30 or so.  I know we counted money and then went to the bar to celebrate and got there just in time for last call. 

It takes a really long time to count 20,793 dollars.   That is an amazing amount of money to make in five hours.

There will be pictures to follow.  I don't have them yet as it never occurred to me to take a camera.

 I always get very nervous before any event.  I actually think it helps us keep our edge.  Even though we have done this 10 times it still takes every bit of us to put it on and make it look effortless.   

The auction had an amazing energy this year.  You could feel it as soon as you walked in.    The excitement just vibrated in the room.   We ended up with 192 women.  We had 12 man-whores/servers.  About six other male volunteers and two great MC's (Jill and Gloria) Plus the nine+ of us.  Unbelievable!

I got to speak again.  They let me every year.  (Although I am not sure why) You would think I would be used to it but apparently not.  This year it took everything I had not to break down completely when I looked out at everyone.  I just broke down partially.  If everyone in the room only heard one thing, I hope they heard that each one of us has the chance to really make a difference.  Sometimes we don't even know we are doing it.  My friend didn't know the effect she had on me, or anyone else around her, she was just being herself.  But the difference she made was in me, not her.  I found her difference.  I hope that we all realize what lies withen us. 

If all we do each day is try to be good to one another then it has been a good day.  Thank-you all. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tonights the Night!

Hi everybody. 
I am so excited writing this.  Tonight is the night! 

Our tenth annual auction is tonight in the town of Qu'Appelle.  We are so excited.  We have more door prizes than we ever had.  We have fantastic prizes for the "gussied up gals".  Our auction items are divine.  Our support base is fantastic.  We had a crew of about 25 people working last night setting up and getting ready.  It looks amazing in the hall.  Guys on the ladders, in the kitchen and overall turning the place into a pink party extravaganza! 

But to keep it in perspective we had an applicant to help in the mist of all of this.  A woman, single, living on social services because her EI disability ran out and living on 755 dollars a month.  Because FFOH is not (and can't be) an advocacy group, we can only change her world not the world we all share. She has lymphoma now because of the removal of her lymph nodes which stops her from lifting her arm.  And in the line of work she is in she needs her arms.  We are going to help her, to the tune of about 4000 dollars over the next six months and invite her to contact us again if she needs to. 

Please consider, especially if you are self employed, some form of critical care coverage.  Do your homework and find the right product.   Find it while you are young so the premiums are lower.  It can happen to you. 

But back to happy!  Because of the generous spirit of the folks around us we can say yes to this woman and many more just like her.  Yeah!

And to spotlight the loyalty and care of the folks who help us, here is another story.  One of our sponsors called one of our members apologising yesterday for the late-ness of their donation.  It seems that he had been working on it for several months but after being diagnosed with cancer last year and working on it all through his chemo he just didn't have the energy to get it completed earlier.  But they hoped it wasn't too late and asked us to come and pick it up.  Now that is dedication! 

I have no idea what we all did to deserve this level of support, but I am so grateful that we have it. 

So if you have tickets get your party dress out, bring your wallet and come ready to party!  We can't wait to see you all.  And if you can't come to this, keep our fall event in mind!  We have tickets on sale today. 

Thank you to all of you for the reads and support!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Today is the Wednesday before the auction.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Every year is the same.  I get a few days of terror, about ten thousand emails and a few phone calls.  We get some last minute donations.  Try really hard to not miss anyone on our sponsor list.  We get over a hundred donations so it is tricky to make sure we get everyone thanked properly.  It really is a great problem to have! 

I have my dress bought.  Our theme is old grad/bridesmaid dresses this year to add to the celebration. They aren't mandatory.  We are just hoping it will add to the party, to the special atmosphere.  We have a complete sell out.  We have our desserts bought for our dessert buffet, (Thanks Double TT) our liquor ordered (Thanks Rick & Whoo Calls), hall is booked (Qu'Appelle Lions Hall). 

I still have some preparations to make.  Hair to dye, moustache to wax, toes to shave, you know the pretty stuff.  All glamour all the time at my age I tell you.   I don't know why we don't talk about the road to "pretty"  more often.  I tell you, getting there is not a pretty path.  More of a walk through the oilsands to get to the mountains.  But I digress...

If I get chance I will write again the night before the auction.  We are decorating that night, visiting and eating pizza.  I like the socializing side of things too.  It is a fun evening.  My favorite part though, hands down, is the morning after the auction.  We meet for clean up, eat as much as our upset tummies can handle of left over fruit for brunch, visit and just relax.  We put months of work into the auction.  That moment, the morning after the party is such a great feeling.  Even if we are a little "under the weather". 

So I will keep everyone as posted as I can in the next couple of days.  Have a good rest of the week.  Thanks for the read today and the "shares".  I really appreciate it!

I also want to thank my readers in Russia.  There are a couple that read all the time so thanks!

Friday, 16 March 2012

This is so AWESOME!

Forever Friends has a title sponsor for our Saskatchewan's Got Talent event in the fall.  620 CKRM has stepped up to help us out for this event.  We are extremely excited by this. 

But frankly, me more than anyone else.  I love CKRM and I have for years.  And that may make me a bit off.  But I've been off for years.  My first concert was Ricky Van Shelton when I was 16.  I was not the go to chickie boo at parties.  When I was about 13 or so I started working in the field.  I was able to cultivate because I was finally heavy enough to push the clutch on the tractor.   Old tractor radios are not exactly known for great reception.  My dad told me that if I tried to turn the radio station off of CKRM, I would break it.  Of course I didn't listen.  I was trying vainly to be part of the crowd so I tried to find a rock station.  For the rest of the day all I could get was CBC, which in my adolescent mind was seriously broken. 

For the rest of the summer I listened to CKRM.  And for several summers after.  I heard Fred and Willie help sell a set of golf shoes that a scorned woman was selling after her husband stepped out on her.  I also remember a woman selling a wedding dress, "never worn".  Even though I was young I thought "Why would she tell them that?  Hasn't she ever listened to the flea market?" 

I listened when Fred retired and Jamie stepped in.  I listened when they switched from 980 to 620.   And recently last year when Willie stepped down and Gloria stepped in.  I listened to Perry Nyhus, Jim Smalley and Colin Lovequist.  And I enjoyed it. 

So when Gloria heard about Forever Friends and emailed us and asked to help with our Auction I was ecstatic.  So on a whim, I sent her my package for sponsorship for the fall event.  She forwarded it to the powers that be at 620 CKRM and deep breath here...Perry Nyhus called me.  I could hardly speak to him.  Second time in my life I was speechless.  But I did talk to him and set up a meeting last week.  He was very gracious.  We chatted and then he showed me around Harvard Broadcasting.  I got to see the finance lady and the maintenance department and I got to be in the room when Ryan Schutlz was on the air.  (and I managed to keep my mouth shut.)  And Tom (one of the powers that be) gave me a limited edition CKRM clock for being a long time listener that I am going to hang in my new office.  It was so awesome!

Its feels like a glimpse into something that helped shape me as a person.  CKRM always seemed like an extended community.  A farming community like my own and even my family.  Things like the meal in the field during harvest.  Things that meant something to the people that I came from.  I was very excited to be there. 

And today Perry Nyhus met me at my office and he met some of the people I am lucky enough to work with.  He even commented on the great feeling in the office.  He gave Forever Friends an offer we couldn't refuse.  So now I get to work with some of the people that I grew up listening to.  And I am once again amazed and blessed. 

Thank-you all for the opportunity to do these things with Forever Friends.  Today was a good day.

PS I have now completely forgiven CKRM for giving my cousin Melissa 200 dollars (Or there abouts)in the birthday contest when I was about 13 and never once announcing my birthday.  Just saying.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Fantastic my opinion!

I would like to introduce you to my spare room.  Luckily my sons bed down stairs was ruined in the flood last spring so we had to take the spare room bed from the spare room and put it in his room.  This means that we had a whole room to fill with stuff for the auction. 

This is my porch. 

 However, because of the fantastic response, we have had to expand our location.
We sold out of our initial 160 tickets by 5 PM on the day tickets were released.  March 1.  We decided to rearrange our venue and release 25 more tickets.  We sold them within a day.  We still have 11 people on the waiting list.  Although I am amazed by this, I am saddened as well.  Some of our long term supporters weren't able to get tickets.  For this I'm sorry.  If I could change it I could.  Maybe the town could add some balcony seating to the Lions hall before next year? 

The only consolation I have is our Saskatchewan's Got Talent event this fall. 
We are trying to get tickets ready for sale the evening of the auction, March 24.  Contact me if you would like tickets.  It is going to be amazing. 
Thank you all!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Next Up ...Lora

A lack of sight is not a lack of vision.  (I don't know who wrote this but it wasn't me.)

Although not being able to see the call display may explain why she keeps answering my phone calls.  Lora has been involved in more than one of my crazy do-gooder plans over the years.  But the biggest is FFOH.

Lora has been a member of FFOH from the beginning.  She helps where ever and when ever needed.  She hardly ever misses a meeting.  And I will add that her husband has not missed a single auction.  He has sold drink tickets, waited tables, worked the bar, and helped with set up and tear down of every single one.  In fact this year when getting our guys lined up, I didn't even ask, I just wrote his name down.  I knew I could count on him.  

Lora is a pretty amazing person.  She babysits kids.  Lots of kids.  She does some respite for foster moms in the area.  She bakes, cleans, cooks, volunteers and supports all the causes that her kids are involved in.  With her family by her side they are very active in the Flatland Cruisers (A car club with some pretty awesome cars!) They seem to go every weekend to car shows and camping. 

Oh yeah and she is legally blind.  I use the term "legally" here because I know that's the wording but she has more vision than a lot of people I meet. 

So I have a question for you.  If you don't help out at your kids school, volunteer at the odd event, or attend your kids basketball games, whats your excuse?

Thanks everyone! 

And by the way, feel free to "follow" the blog.  As I am learning, the more "followers" a blog has the easier it is to get sponsorship because of the "following"  Over to the side of the blog there are a couple of ways to follow.  ----> Don't worry Mom, filling in the info will not open you up to identity theft.  It will be fine. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Tickets! And a reason to buy tickets or support us in any way!

"Mommy don't be dead!  Please don't be dead"

One of the ladies we helped in the last year wrote these words in her cancer story that so often is attached to application forms.  She had her mastectomy on December 22.  Was sent home from the hospital on December 23 and was cleaning her drains and passed out from the pain on Christmas eve and woke up to her daughter sobbing these words over her.  She refused to go with the ambulance because she didn't want to leave her young teenage daughter alone on Christmas.  And I use the term Christmas loosely because they were losing 800 dollars per month just to keep the lights on and  household operational.  Christmas was very sparse.  But she was alive and they were together. 

And this is why I do what I do, why the board of Forever Friends does what we do.  And this is why support of those around us is so important. 

Tickets go on sale today (March 1, 2012) for the Ladies Night Out Auction.  The auction is coming together very nicely! 
I will list some sponsors for you guys to support.  Sasktel, Sask Power, Sask Tourism, The Lilaberte family, The Geis family, Lisa B Originals, Globe Theatre, Folk fest in Saskatoon, Prime Meats, The Pink Tree, The Nichols family, Saskmade Market Place, Qu'Appelle Branch of the South East Regional library, Association of Regina Realtors, Prime Meats, Gee Bee Construction, The Hysuick family and more coming all the time!  Thanks to you all.  After the auction, you will be able to go to our website and connect directly to all of our supporters. 

I do have some exciting announcements for the fall Saskatchewan's Got Talent evening as well.
We have 5 sponsors on board Gold-Iverness Consulting Silver- Gee Bee Construction and ISC Bronze- Indian Head Agencies and Payless has donated an area rug for the silent auction. 

The words I started this blog with haunt me.  I have to admit it.  Each time I think of them, my breath catches in my throat.  "Out of the mouths of babes"  When everything else is stripped away, that is what is left. 

Thank you all!