The benefit on tuesday night was such an amazing event. It started at 6 p.m. We arrived and snuck in through the back. At first it was a little embarrassing. But once we got a little more acclimated it was better. It was decorated like Italy. With red, white, and green table cloths and banners. And beautiful flower pots as center pieces.
The first performance was by the University High School Chamber Choir "Lyrico". My boss was one of the first people that I talked to and he told me that the line was really long. And boy was he not kidding. It stretched WAAAAAYYYYY down the hall, all the way to the doors. I was really surprised by the amount of people that were arriving. Our final guess is that there were around 500 people in attendance. It was truly a great show of community support.
The second group to perform was the Ponderosa Pinetones. Heather is the music teacher at Ponderosa Elementary. So she volunteered her little kiddos to perform. And they were so stinkin cute!!
There were three really long tables full of items being auctioned off. There were over 90 different items to bid on. Things from signed footballs, scrapbook items, jewelry, artwork, basketball hoops, tickets, hotel stays, and even a Wii. It was amazing how many items were donated.
Rick's "hockey family" brought an envelope of money that was gathered up after a recent game. It was such an amazing show of support. Rick is very anxious to be able to play hockey again. Mark Rypien plays on Rick's hockey team and he and his girlfriend Danielle came, along with a lot of his other hockey teammates. When Randy gave Rick the money he said that it was Rick's "signing bonus" so now he is only allowed to play on that team. LOL!!
So many family members from both sides of our families came. I was introduced to cousins that I had not met before. We sat at the table with my Dad and his friend Carol.
Here is my Aunt Gloria, Grams, and Great Aunt Ruby. I wish it had been possible to get pictures of everybody but it was so crazy that it was impossible.
Heather gave a sweet talk about Rick. She used the story of Dr. S's exceptional comment to describe Rick. It was very heartfelt and I really appreciated her speaking. I just could not have spoke in front of all those people, so I am so grateful that Heather was able to speak for us.
The spaghetti was delicious. There was salad and bread as well. And a bake sale for dessert. The poor cooks were so overwhelmed that they had to make more and that slowed down serving a little bit. But it was still wonderful. The band kids were the severs. It was a little enjoyable watching them serve everybody.
The third group to perform was the Horizon Middle School Jazz Band. Our friend Brian is their director. They were very good!
The commons at U-High was packed with people. It was a bit overwhelming to have all those people there. Rick and I made the rounds and tried to talk with as many people as possible. Of course there was no way to talk to everyone, but we still made the effort. Rick did a very good job of walking around, and I had to force him to sit down a few times. There were people that we went to high school with, a lot of people from Rick's store, lots of teachers from schools in the district. And a lot of families from the SPACE program, which is where the girls go to school. Not to mention the family members and complete strangers. It was fantastic!
The next group to perform was the University High School Winter Drumline. Those kids worked so hard helping with this event. And it was nice to have them perform. It showed everybody what Rick has such a passion for. And they did a very good job.
The most special auction item was the one that Samantha's class made. It is a plate made with the fingerprints of all the kids in Sam's class. Her ladybug is in the middle of the plate. My mom was the highest bidder. She wanted to make sure that Samantha would be able to have the plate.
The final group to perform was The Rick Wallace Benefit Combo. It was a group of performers put together just to play at the benefit. And they were great!!
It was such an outpouring of love. We were very humbled to be the beneficiaries of such an amazing event. I can't even put into words how very grateful we are to Heather for organizing this. She did the majority of the work herself and we are truly lucky to have such a wonderful friend. It warms my heart to see how many people care about Rick. It was extremely successful, more than we even imagined it would be.
Thank you Heather for working so hard to put on such a special event. Thank you to all of the donors of the auction items. Thank you to the SPACE families that helped out; especially Rondielle, Kelly, Sally, Jodie, and Michelle. Thank you to the Band Parents that worked so hard cooking and preparing for this event. Thank you to the Band kids who served. Thank you Sam for helping organize this as well.
And most of all Thank You to everyone that attended! It meant so much to us and we feel such a relief knowing that we can now pay the medical bills.