Monday, February 4, 2008
Oh, What a Night!
I don't know if I have words to describe what happened Saturday night, but I'll try.
As most of you know, Saturday night was Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game. The players wore jerseys trimmed in baby blue, bearing the logo of the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. After the game, they auctioned off these game-worn, autographed jerseys to fans. In addition, the players used pink sticks during warm-ups and auctioned those off as well. People also brought items for the Neonatal ICU, as well as monetary donations to Melissa's Fund.
When it was all said and done, we raised more than $65,000 for Melissa's Fund!! $65,000!!!! Chris and I are still floating. It was just a fantastic night and Huntsville Havoc fans once again proved that they are the most generous fans in the world.
I went into this jersey auction wondering what would happen. Last year's jersey auction was just so amazing and raised $54,400. It was the first year we had ever done it, and I wondered would we be able to match, or surpass what we raised last year?
Chris and I just wanted to raise enough to purchase one Giraffe OmniBed (they cost around $35,000). After the auction, as we were packing up, I said to Chris, "Oh, my goodness. We just raised enough to purchase TWO beds!!" I couldn't believe it.
Most of you have heard me talk about these Giraffe Beds. They are state-of-the-art beds for the most critically ill premature babies - those who weigh less than two pounds, just as my daughters did. When we first started Melissa's Fund, the NICU didn't have any of them. Once we purchase the two from this auction, that will bring the total that we have purchased for the NICU to seven. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. It is because of generous donations from people across the Tennessee Valley.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the fans who took part, whether you purchased a jersey or stick or made a monetary donation to Melissa's Fund. The babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit have a better chance of surviving because of YOU. I can't thank you enough. And to Keith Jeffries, Kevin Walker, Ashley Balch and the rest of the Havoc staff, thank you for making this happen and for all the hard work you put into it. You guys are the best!
One of the highlights of the night was when Ann Catherine dropped the puck with Chris. The picture above shows them together. (To see more pictures from the jersey auction, click here. WHNT has created a slideshow.) I just believe with all of my heart that Melissa was so proud of her at that moment. And I think she's very proud of what happened Saturday night.
I know I am.