pEACHTREE TV   CBS Group Photo  Sometimes, as we move forward with our foundation, amazing opportunities present themselves.  Friday, April 13th, was one of those times.  Bob and I headed out from Ball Ground at 6:00 a.m., anticipating a terrible drive to Atlanta, one that could take possibly 2 hours.  We were pleasantly surprised to arrive WAY ahead of time.  So what did we do?  Breakfast, of course.

Silver Skillet  We ate at the SILVER SKILLET in Atlanta.  Apparently this restaurant has been in a lot of movies and if you were inside, you would understand why.  It’s OLD and loaded with old time charm.  We can recommend the pancakes and sausage without hesitation!

Then on to the “amazing opportunity.”  We were invited by CBS46 to participate in a program honoring “Organ Transplant Month” which is April.  We were one segment of four.  The group picture, above, shows all of the participants.  It was an EXCELLENT presentation from the standpoint of educating the public about transplants, which is a multi-faceted subject.

Segment #1 was a couple whose 15-year-old son was killed in a tragic car wreck.  They made the unselfish decision to donate his organs and 5 people received his major organs.  They have also set up a scholarship fund in his honor to be given to students “of character.”  It was an emotional segment.

Segment #2 was ours.  And, of course, it was about two things.  One was that our son passed away before getting a transplanted heart and how that affected our lives.  And then we talked about how loosing Jeff has translated into our passion for transplant patients.  We talked about about how we provide housing for transplant patients and their care givers at no cost to them while they are going through their transplant experience.

Segment #3 was two gentlemen who have received successful heart transplants:  one almost 20 years ago (which is totally amazing) and one 3 years ago.  They both are HEAVILY involved in the transplant world, volunteering their time at the hospitals in order to encourage patients and also spreading the word about organ donation and it’s EXTREME importance.  Just an aside here about a “small world.”  One of the guys knew one of our apartment patients, and the other’s doctor was Dr. Andy Smith from Emory who was instrumental in getting our foundation started.

Segment #4 was about the Georgia Transplant Foundation and LifeLink, both organzations that help us enormously in a financial way.  Their main focus was to debunk a lot of myths about transplants, and there are many.  One thing that stood out (and this is very important in our Southern culture):  1) after donation, it is still entirely possible to have an open casket funeral.

It aired on Sunday, April 15.  I have attached a link to our segment:




sock-hop  The Evans’ had a blast on Friday night, April 13th.  There is a senior living apartment complex in John’s Creek where Mary attends a networking event every month.  Now….apart from the networking event people, the ladies that work in the office of the apartment complex have taken a great interest in our foundation.

SO…they hosted a “Sock Hop” in honor our foundation for their residents and we were invited to attend and to tell everyone about what we are doing.  So Bob and Mary rolled up their jeans and tried to look a little “1950-ish” and headed over there.  We were amazed to find at least 180 people in attendance.  There was a row of ’57 Chevies (is that how you spell that?), the food was the Varsity Food Truck (“What’ll Ya Have?”….onion rings please!)  The DJ was fabulous and we had a blast.  As the evening went on and the dancing began (grandma/grandpa/mom/dad/grandkids…you get the picture), Bob and Mary worked the crowd expressing our thanks.

Thanks for what you ask?  Well part of the price of the ticket was to donate a pair of cashmere socks or donate money towards cashmere socks!  We received six pairs of socks and over $350.00!  We were SO grateful.  As most of you know, all of “our” transplant patients receive a pair of cashmere sock from us in memory of Jeff.

The place was hoppin’ and a good time was had by all.  Thank you to the residents of “The Park.”

Rotary Presentation

Rotary  On April 11th, Mary had the privilege of presenting our foundation to the Brookhaven Rotary Club.  First of all, it was very interesting to hear and understand what Rotary Clubs are all about.  The first one was formed in 1905 in Chicago so that professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.  A big part of who they are began in 1979 with their fight against polio.  They began a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, polio remains endemic in only three countries — down from 125 in 1988.  Being a child of the 1950’s who lived across the street from a girl my age who had polio learning this brought this important project directly home.

The Rotary Clubs have what they refer to as the “Four Way Test,” something that we could all live by:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Having said all of that, I will say that my presentation was accepted in a wonderful way.  I felt there was genuine interest in what we are doing.  A Q&A session followed and I happy to answer all of those.  I believe that going forward, in one way or another, Rotary will be beneficial to our foundation.