Monday, January 19, 2009
53,000 Reasons to Love Havoc Fans!!
Well, what can I say? Huntsville Havoc fans once again showed how huge their hearts are!
We raised more than $53,000 at Saturday night's game!! I am so humbled by this. We knew we were in a "down economy" this year and I honestly didn't think we would raise that kind of money. But, it just goes to show how Havoc fans have embraced Melissa's Fund. In just three years, this special night has raised more than $172,000. I think that's just amazing.
The jersey auction was fabulous. Chris' jersey went for $4,000! (The picture above is Chris holding his jersey at the auction.) We also auctioned off the blue and pink sticks that the players used during warm-ups. The players were so supportive of what we were doing. As I thanked them all after the game, they talked about what a great night it was and how much they enjoyed it.
For those of you who are wondering, yes, Chris made it through his shift! It was like old times watching him skate. (That's him in the middle taking the face-off.) The coolest part was when they called out his name during the starting line-up. It has been a while since I've heard the announcer bellow "Number 17, Chris George!!" Ann Catherine got to drop the puck and, this year, Lily went on the ice with us (you can't see her in the photo. She and Chris are standing behind the Havoc player).
The most touching part was when they retired Chris' jersey. When they unfurled it from the rafters with the lights out in the arena and a spotlight on the jersey, I got goosebumps. Chris, Ann Catherine, Lily and I were standing on the ice when they retired it, and I was so glad our girls got to be a part of it. And I was so glad that they got to see their daddy skate (although in typical 3-year-old fashion, Ann Catherine informed me during warm-ups that she wanted to go and get more Dippin' Dots. Needless to say, I made her wait :))
Thanks to all of you who made it such a special night for us. And a special thank you to Keith and Becky Jeffries, Kevin Walker and Ashley Balch with the Huntsville Havoc for making it happen. Chris and I are incredibly touched and humbled by how the community has continued to support Melissa's Fund. The true winners are those precious babies in our NICU who will receive more life-saving technology because of generous Huntsville Havoc fans.
What a great night it was! And what a celebration of Melissa's life. Even in her death, I can still find so many reasons to smile. Saturday night was one of the reasons why. Watching that auction, I was reminded that her life - and death - was not in vain.
One little girl who lived such a short time has accomplished so much. Thank you Havoc fans for helping us keep her legacy alive.