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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh, What a Night!

That's the only way to describe what took place Saturday night! Chris and I are still floating on air!

As many of you know, the Huntsville Havoc wore special jerseys trimmed in pink with the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund logo on them. After the game, they auctioned them off. The most they had ever raised during a jersey auction was more than $20,000. Chris and I thought if we could raise that much Saturday night we would be thrilled.

But it was way better than that!

We raised $54,400 for the Melissa George Fund! Then, we raised more than $500 from fans who walked up to me and said, "I can't afford to spend $1000 on a jersey, but here's my donation." Chris and I were absolutely blown away!

Even Mayor Loretta Spencer got in on the action. She walked away with Travis Kauffeldt's jersey. He just happened to score the game winning goal! And Coach John Gibson's jersey went for a whopping $6000!! It was just unbelievable!

I feel like "thank you" isn't strong enough to express our feelings to those who bought jerseys. But I can assure you that it's the best donation you'll ever make. 100% of what we raise through our fund goes directly to the NICU to buy equipment and help meet the needs of the parents. So many people have asked what we will buy with the $55,000 we raised this weekend. I tell them, it's up to the NICU staff. From the day we started this fund, Chris and I have always said it's not about what we want to buy, it's about what the NICU needs. Lynn Lee, the nurse manager, tells us their most critical need and that's what we buy. My gut feeling is that we'll probably buy another giraffe omnibed (they cost $35,000 a bed!). We have already bought 2 and would love to buy at least 5 in the near future.

When Chris played for the Huntsville Channelcats, I always knew how generous hockey fans were in this town. But I must say, they left me speechless Saturday night. And I can't say enough about the Havoc management: Keith Jeffries, Kevin Walker and Ashley Balch. They came up with the idea and approached us, and we will forever be grateful!

The Havoc also printed special jerseys for me, Jerry Hayes, Dan Satterfield and John Pearson. Dan wore his to the game Saturday and was on the bench taking pictures of the auction for me. When it ended, a fan shouted, "I want Satterfield's jersey!" Dan said he would auction it off, but for no less than $1000. It went for $1900!

Speaking of Dan, he took the picture of Chris and Lily at the game. Is she mini-me or what??! And big sister Ann Catherine got to drop the puck before the game with her daddy so that was pretty special!

Thanks again to those who bought jerseys and those who came to the game. You will never know how much your support means to us. Melissa's time on Earth may have been short, but her life is proof that it's not about quantity. It's about quality. And when I think of how she is giving other premature babies a chance to live, it makes me so proud. Her life meant something. And I know she is looking down on us and is so proud of the work we are doing in her name.

And I'm pretty sure she enjoyed that hockey game too!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hockey for a Great Cause!

We are so excited about Saturday night! When the Huntsville Havoc take on the Jacksonville Barracudas at the VBC, they'll be wearing special "pink" jerseys. That's right - PINK jerseys. The jerseys will have the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund logo on them. Then after the game, they'll auction off these game-worn jerseys and 100% of the money raised will go to Melissa's Fund.

This is an important fundraiser for us because it's time to replenish the fund, so to speak. We recently bought eight cardiac monitors for the NICU at Huntsville Hospital and we need to build our funds back up so we can buy the next piece of equipment the NICU needs.

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. In fact, Chris and Ann Catherine are going to drop the puck! It's going to be a great night and we hope you'll join us! To learn more about ticket prices or to see a seating chart of the VBC, go to

Monday, January 15, 2007

Two Months Old!

I can't believe it! Lilybell (my nickname for her) is two months old! Time flies when you're not getting any sleep :) Actually, I can't complain. This weekend she slept through the night for the first time! We put her down around 10pm and she didn't wake up until 6:30 am! Of course, since this is my second child I knew better than to get excited. And just as I suspected, she woke up twice the next night. Oh well, you can't have it all.

I don't know how much Lily weighs, because we haven't been to the doctor lately. But I do know she's a little chunk - and I mean that in a good way :) Believe me, after giving birth to a 1 lb 15 oz baby, I can tell you there's nothing better than a fat baby! And even though they are 18 months apart, I think Lily will probably catch up to Ann Catherine in size in about a year. Why do I think that? Because at Christmas, Lily wore an outfit that Ann Catherine wore last Christmas. Why is that surprising? Because Lily was 6 weeks at Christmas, and when Ann Catherine wore the outfit she was 6 months!! See what I mean? I guess that's just the difference in having a term baby and having a preemie!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Some years are better than others. To be honest, Chris and I were happy to see 2005 go. Although it brought indescribable joy with the birth of Ann Catherine, it also brought unbelievable pain with the death of our daughter Melissa. I was truly happy when the year came to an end.

2006 was completely different. In April, we learned we were pregnant again. In June, we celebrated Ann Catherine's first birthday. In August, we had our first annual Swim for Melissa and raised more than $40,000 for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. That money allowed us to buy new life-saving equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital. And in November, we welcomed the arrival of our newest miracle - Lily Baker. This year has truly been amazing!

We are hoping that 2007 brings us just as much happiness. After all we have been through, we no longer take that happiness for granted!

Here's hoping 2007 brings you peace and prosperity! Happy new year!