Earlier this week, Bob was invited to be the guest speaker at the McCullough Club, a private men’s club in Atlanta. He took a presentation with him whose purpose was to educate the gentlemen in attendance about transplants and, of course, to explain what the purpose of our foundation is. I got a “review” from our son the next day which was “Dad knocked it out of the park. He was professional, confident, passionate and knew exactly what he was talking about.” Bob is obviously talented in this regard and we hope that he will be able to do a lot of speaking in the future. Can you even imagine how impactful that would be? During the first week in May, he has been invited to speak at the Alpharetta Rotary Club. Very exciting and another step forward for the foundation.
The most incredible “happenstances” come to us almost on a weekly basis and this story is about one of those. As mentioned in the last blog entry, we are having a fund raiser on May 21st that includes a polo match. So one evening, out of the blue, Bob decided he was going up to the outlet mall in Dawsonville to visit the Polo Store. While talking to the manager about the possibility of Polo donating shirts that we could get customized with our foundation’s logo for the polo players to wear at the event, she mentioned “THERE IS SOMEONE YOU HAVE TO MEET.” That person is pictured above…Grant Searcey and his wife Mindy. Grant is a local artist, working out of Dahlonega and HE HAS HAD A HEART TRANSPLANT! We had the absolute privilege to meet with them this week and, without a doubt, they are going to be a big part of our foundation. Grant has lived the transplant patient experience and Mindy has lived the caregiver experience. And when Grant was going through his transplant, his mom had to rent an apartment for them to live in the Los Angeles area to the tune of $1,800.00 a month. So on top of everything else, they know EXACTLY how important what we are doing is. They would have given anything to be able to live in our apartment at no cost to them. We are going to meet again in two weeks to discuss further what their role will be in the foundation.
BTW..NOTHING is “happenstance.” Everything that happens is by design. And stay tuned to see if the shirts are donated to us from the Polo Store. The aforementioned manager, Sonja, is working hard on this!
This event is being called “Big Hats and Mint Juleps”. Imagine the Kentucky Derby. It will be held at Chukkar Farm in Alpharetta, GA, which is also a polo venue. We will begin the festivities with Mint Juleps and Bloody Mary’s. There will be a silent auction held near the bar. Then enjoy the polo match with your drinks and hors d’oeuvres . When the polo match is over, we will have a live auction, followed by supper, prepared by nine of Atlanta’s finest chefs. Beer will be supplied by Cherry Street Brewing Coop, who will brew the beer to match the menus. Tickets will go on sale on March 31st. The cost will be $200.00/person or $1,400.00 for a table for 8. Gather you friends and family for an incredibly fun day and fill up a table.
This fund raiser event is for one purpose… to provide a bridge to life for organ transplant patients, by renting and fully furnishing apartments near Georgia’s three transplant hospitals….Emory, Children’s and Piedmont. These apartments are for their use while living through their transplant experience. The apartments will be provided for them at no cost as a way to minimize the enormous financial burden of an organ transplant.
We are an official 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, registered with the State of Georgia. All ticket sales and donations are tax-deductible.
Bob and Mary took a tour of the Post Briarcliff apartments this week and we made the decision to rent a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment from them. (It was a model apartment, so these are not pictures of the furniture we will put in.) It is only about one mile from Emory and Children’s and it, unbelievably, has a shuttle to the hospitals. Could that get any better? We think it will be perfect for the transplant patients and their care givers to live in while going through the transplant experience. Almost everything that is needed to furnish it has been either donated or purchased. We plan on moving in on June 1st and welcoming the first guests that the hospital social workers and Georgia Transplant Foundation send to us. It’s hard to express the emotions that rise up around this subject. We have worked hard for two years to get to this point. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been extremely worthwhile. OK….I’ll get dramatic here….it’s the beginning of an enormous dream…enormous!!
On Saturday, February 18th, we moved all of the apartment furniture and everything else that we have collected to a storage unit. Our garage got so full, it was hard to move around. We hate having to pay a monthly charge for storage, but it has to be done. A huge THANK YOU goes to our across-the-street neighbors, the Feeney family (all of them….Jeff, Linda, Zachery and Daniel). We could not have done this without them. They arrived around 8:00 a.m. and we were done way before noon. We looked very funny driving out of the neighborhood and over to storage. Does “Hillbilly Hollow” paint a picture! The line-up looked like this….SUV/truck/trailer/van/car/car (all loaded with stuff) On the way over, it started sprinkling, but thankfully everything got moved in before the rain got worse.