Monday, October 26, 2009

Giving Back

The organization that offers therapy and services to my son is called ASPIRO. They are really awesome. They have been our biggest cheerleaders and an incredible source of advice, assistance and education. ASPIRO organizes our local Buddy Walk and other events throughout the year. Their annual fundraiser this year had the theme; Jewels, Jeans and Jazz. It was held at the Oneida Country Club on October 16th.
I joined the planning committee this year because I wanted to give back to the people and organization that has helped my family so much these past two years. I was new to the committee, but was available to do whatever they wanted me to do. Through the course of events, meetings and so forth, I ended up being voted in as the spokesperson for the evening. I was to give a speech about my son. I may sing every week in front of hundreds of people, but speaking is a different ball game! I'm not nearly as comfortable. This evolved into me giving the coordinator photos of Nate by himself and with our family.
As I approached the podium and began my presentation, the slideshow of Nate's little life flashed behind me. I read to them my essay "Welcome to the Magic Kingdom". You could have heard a pin drop. After my speech was done, the host invited James up to the podium, and he had a special guest with him...Natie! After hearing all about him and seeing him on the big screen, everyone cheered when they saw his beaming face! The event host then said, "the cost of offering therapy and assistance to Nate is approximately $6,000 per year, and ASPIRO currently has 86 children in their program. So, that being said, who will donate $5,000 for the efforts of ASPIRO in this community?"
Our committee had never done anything like this before.
We had hoped to raise $5,000 total in this portion of the event.
In 10 minutes, the wonderful people of Green Bay donated $20,000 to ASPIRO!
After all was said and done, including the silent auction and raffle tickets, our fundraising efforts raised $46,000.
This was up 15% from last year.
It was hard to make it to the meetings, because I work full time.
It was uncomfortable being asked to speak.
It was emotional because I'm talking about Nathan, who is my heart...and each time I went over my speech I wept.
I didn't want to cry in front of hundreds of people. (I didn't).
I was just willing, and even though very inconvenient and uncomfortable....would never hesitate to do it again.
It was so worth the effort.
Nathan is so worth it.
I encourage you to take part in your local community efforts because your life will be touched in a whole new way!


  1. Wow, what an amazing opportunity! And what an impact you and Nate obviously had on those people! That's just so cool. Very happy for you and the organization!

  2. This is Joyce. Congratulations on your successful fund raising efforts. I just read your Magic Kingdom. I LOVE it!!!! A whole new way of thinking. I am writing a piece right now about how I pulled all the tulips out of my garden a few years after Sarah was born because I was so sick of the Holland reference. Would you mind if I referenced your writing?

  3. Awesome job! What a fabulous event. Your essay is fantastic, I'm sure there were many tears that evening! Fantastic fundraising, too. I've never thought of a dollar amount for our therapies, that is so eye-opening. So glad it went well. PS: I sing, too, and I know that speaking is VERY different.

  4. Wow that is so amazing. I love this story and how much you were able to help the organization. Very inspirational for all of us. One day I hope I can follow in something like what you did.

  5. That is wonderful! Way to neat to feel the feeling of touching so many...and having so many give back...thanks for sharing this with us...

  6. Thank you all for such encouraging comments! Joyce, I would be delighted to have you reference my essay...and I look forward to reading yours!

  7. I heard you were awesome! I wish I could have heard it.