Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 Hearts & Diamonds Gala

This year we were asked to "host" the Ronald McDonald House Hearts & Diamonds Gala.  It is an amazing event!  The dresses were gorgeous (over the top red carpet gorgeous), the golf course was decorated beautifully (like we took a trip to Italy), every last detail was covered for the Tuscan theme.  There were "diamonds" everywhere.  They have a professional photographer that photographs the entire evening, so I will post the link to her slide show when I get it.  They also had a reporter from "The Post", so I am hoping to get a copy of that paper to share.
Before the event began Reese spent some time at the waterpark in the hotel.

Reese went and got her hair done just like a princess.

The limo picked her {and us} up from the hotel to take us to the golf course.

She played with a RMH friend, Amy during the "adult" time. {Coloring, UNO, and more}

But posed for lots of pictures!  She was truly a princess all night.

Hallie made it to MN about 6:30... she had been in Omaha for a cheer competition.

Dr. Shives was the emcee for the evening.  He talked a bit about Reese's back story.  He is a fantastic speaker and worded it great... not sappy or overdone... but with the emotions that we were feeling when it was all happening.  Then when he went to quote from my blog I actually read it... I was REALLY nervous, hoping I wouldn't cry... but made it through it... I just couldn't listen to him talking about Reese before hand.  Then, a wonderful singing group sang "Believe", and began singing Angels Among Us... Ryan and I entered and went to the front of the room to dance... Ryan was a little stressed about dancing, but it all went well... after two verses the dr escorted Hallie and Reese up to us to join us.  Ryan picked up Reese and they danced and I danced and twirled Hallie.  It was a bit overwhelming when everyone stood and clapped at the end... the girls bowed and were so sweet.  It was a very special family moment, I knew it would be emotional, but I think emotions may have surprised Ryan a bit... you could see on his face what a proud Daddy he was.

At this point it was already after 9pm and they were just getting salad... we went back to the hotel {via limo}

They were going to play a game after dinner to give away one pearl necklace per table.  During the game they are all given envelopes, Peggy a chair member then gave them facts that were represented by numbers...
1144- the number of items we donated, pass the cards around the table 4 times
68- the number of gift cards we donated, pass 8
7- the number of countries plus the United States that were praying for Reese, pass 7
1- 1st place... the placement Reese received at her gymnastics meet... and then she read my blog entry about her love of gymnastics, pass 1 {I was so happy to hear they were sharing this}
Now everyone open the cards... one of them had our family picture and they were the big winners.
She said one reason she loved Reese's story so much is because it is all about opportunity.  The Ronald McDonald House was just a "stop" on her journey... nothing is holding her back and her journey continues.  They can't wait to see where her journey will take her.

I am so glad we were able to share our story to help them generate a lot of money for the house.  We saw someone videoing and we really hope we will be able to get our hands on that to watch.  {I would like to be able to watch and listen and really soak it up rather than having to try to tune things out to prevent tears... I would also like to see who won the diamonds!!}  A HUGE thank you to the RMH for having us, for pampering the girls, for everything involved with this weekend... it was a weekend we will never forget, and we are honored to have been asked and to have been a part of such a wonderful fundraiser.

4 friends had to say...:

tricia said...

I couldn't stand it any longer so I went to the newspaper and there was a picture of the four of you. You make a "real" family. Life isn't always perfect, there are many "bumps" in the road, but those that love each other, fight for one another, and believe that you can over come the obstacles placed before you, will surely be blessed in the end.

Anonymous said...

Reese, Candi, Ryan and Hallie,
We couldn't be more proud of your family. The pictures are beautiful and keepstakes for all of us. It's been a "rough" year for "your family and extended family" but like Pastor Barb said Sunday (after I told in church about the honor you folk had on Sat night) "Lots of Prayer for our little Reese has helped change things and we will continue to pray for her and her famiy" Many people came us to us after church and thanked us for keeping them informed about her and her progress! We love you and will keep praying for all of you the rest of our lives! Love Papa and Nana!

Amy Walter said...

Reese and Hallie looked truly like princesses. Such an honor for your family. Nice to see some good come from the hard road you have endured.

Kim said...

What amazing pictures....this post was so good to read.....Reese looks so cute! Love all the details...thanks for sharing them with us.