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!