Our Third Annual Change The World For One Benefit was such an amazing success!!
All the months of planning and preparing for this once a year benefit that carries us through the year financially turned out to be well worth it. We need this benefit financially, but the best part is seeing all the people who have been impacted by Ordinary Hero come together and get to share stories. It's a room full of Ordinary people who have become a Hero to a child in need.
It's a beautiful sight!
I must give a huge shout out THANK YOU to all our sponsors of this year's event!
They carried the weight of the expenses for the benefit to allow all the donations to benefit Ordinary Hero 100%. Big, Big THANK YOU to
Celebrate Children ~ Gold Sponsor
Pedersen Family Foundation, ZAGG, Stuart and Leigh Anne McWhorter ~ Silver Sponsors
David B Pedersen and Bethel World Outreach ~ Bronze Sponsor
Visiting Orphans, LifeStrength, and 29Eleven Productions ~ HERO Sponsorship
If you are interested in sponsoring next year's event, please email email@example.com
Also HUGE THANK YOU to the awesome Chuck and Carrie Cecil for being our Chairs of the event.
Carrie is always such a great personality and speaker at our event. Chuck was out of town with his new coaching job with the Rams.
I always enjoy speaking at this event and getting to share about all the amazing Ordinary Heroes the year has brought into our lives.
We then were blessed to get to hear from some of the Ordinary Heroes themselves.
The Culberson Family shared about their daughter Lucy whom I met and advocated for while on a trip to Ethiopia. She was diagnosed with special needs and remained on the wait list for several months. This family stepped up and adopted Lucy (Mahlet) after seeing her on the Ordinary Hero waiting list.
I'm so thrilled to tell you how absolutely wonderful this little darling is doing with her new family. It was so great to hear from them as they shared their story, allowing us to see little Lucy!
Next we had the Sensenig family who joined us from Ohio. They are a couple I met while in Ethiopia. They are from the Mennonite Community. While in Ethiopia Krissie shared about her adopted brother and his sweet spirit as he battled Leukemia and later lost the battle. It was him that inspired them to now adopt their beautiful little Desta from Ethiopia. They blessed us with Jarrell's story and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Ordinary Hero will be starting an adoption grant in honor of Jarrell's last wish, which was to see more children adopted into families just like him. I will be sharing more on their story and the upcoming grant that families will be able to apply for in a future blog post. Their story will surely bless you.
Next we have Dustin and Fasika Bestul from North Carolina who shared a bit of Fasika's story with us.
This beautiful young girl was adopted from Ethiopia by the Bestul family. She remained on our Waiting children list for well over a year. She was considered an older child which unfortunately causes children to sit and wait for families longer. She is such a testimony of what beautiful destinies await these older children. I will forever advocate for the older waiting children and if you could have seen this beautiful 13 yr old hold up her bible that she received as her prize possession while she was in Ethiopia you would agree. Her spirit illuminates and she has a heart to be a future missionary. Thank you, Bestul family for coming in all the way from North Carolina to join us for the marathon and share your story! Yes, she ran the half marathon as well! Amazing girl!
I was so awesome to have Ashli and Sami in from Ethiopia! Sami is a young kid that Ashli met living on the streets of Ethiopia and sponsored him to have a better life. He received his visa to be able to come to America for the first time and be present for this event. His is a story of a life truly transformed and Ashli is the Ordinary Hero that helped him. Awesome!
My husband, Shane spoke to the men in the crowd with a powerful message, challenging the men to step up and be fathers to the fatherless. Many said it was something that needed to be said and that often times gets overlooked and lost in the passions of the women who have a mother's heart to help.
We were grateful to have David and Sandy Houston to share about the joys of being grandparents to an adopted child.
Then there was Nia Allen who just brought it with "The Prayer". That song is so awesome! She sings back up for BeBe and CeCe Winans and let me tell you...She can sing!
Before and after the banquet folks got to mingle. Amongst the mingle, Stacey from Utah, a past trip member, found a life size poster of herself in Ethiopia, ha!
This is why I do what I do...the kiddos! There were several future world changers at this year's banquet.
One of the most rewarding things for me is to stay in touch with some of the kids that I help advocate for. These two were living in the same orphanage together for a long time waiting for a family. They both found their forever families this past year and met up again at our banquet. So awesome!
Our silent auction was a huge success! Many people walked away with some great stuff! Looks like the men were enjoying it :-) There were golf packages, vacation homes, studio sessions, you name it!
Some of the past Ethiopia trip members loved seeing Sami, who was visiting from Ethiopia.
Finally, I could not do one single thing without these ladies! What an awesome committee I have! They pulled off this whole banquet and two of them event ran the half marathon that morning and still helped with the banquet. All the way from decorations, to booking, to menu, to silent auction, merchandise and everything else, these girls have it together!! Thank you, thank you ladies! You keep OH running strong!
And they are a fun group too!
I must give a BIG THANK YOU to Stacie Blazic, who so graciously stepped up to Chair the event committee and keep things running smoothly. Thank you, Stacie!
I'm so blessed by all the people surrounding OH! Lauren on the left always jumps on board to help, Melissa is our "info" girl who takes most all questions and inquiries as well as manages the missions portion of OH. Colleen has come on board as our bookkeeper along with what sounds like a million other jobs to keep things running smoothly. These girls work their booties off for OH! Thank you, thank you, girls!
We had this awesome group manning our check in table.
And here is another at our check out table. Seems Colleen has bounced around everywhere all night, AND I must brag because she ran the half marathon for OH that morning! Does she get supporter/helper of the year or what!
Other amazing volunteers who traveled in for the banquet are these gals. Stacey and Deborah are from Utah and have both traveled on several missions trips with OH. Deborah helps with all sponsorship coordinating. Next is Holli and Lisa, who both traveled to Ethiopia last summer with OH. They are from Illinois and Holli is our waiting children coordinator who sends out all our Speak Ups and Newsletters. Such great gals who help us so much!! Thank you!!!
Next I had my daughter, her friend, Abby, and my son helping at the merchandise table.
Big THANK YOU to Sue with Celebrate Children! They were one of our biggest sponsors of the night. She and her husband traveled in from Florida for the event. She got to see some of the children she has placed through her agency again with their families which is neat.
I want to give some shout out thank you's to Vanderbilt Marriott for being great to work with for the event, Andy Cam Productions for videoing the event which will be coming out soon, and Twiggy and Gus for donating the decorations for the event, and Twin Imaging Photography for photographing the event.
All those pretty decorations had to be put away and I caught, Dave, Sue's husband, with Celebrate Children staying up late and helping the committee load everything up until late in the night. That's an awesome sponsor!
If you would like to see all the pics from our amazing night, CLICK HERE.
ALSO, THIS WAS THE VIDEO THAT WE CLOSED THE NIGHT OUT WITH AT THE BANQUET. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT, IT'S A MUST WATCH.
THANKS AGAIN to everyone involved to make this once a year event such an amazing success! Also, a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who attended the banquet to support OH and all our efforts to help children in need, while striving to bring the ordinary out of their bubbles to become Heroes to the children who need them.
I have the video coming of all the pictures that some of you sent in to me. I showed a shorter version of it at our banquet and I am putting the longer version together for the blog. I want to make sure to show everyone. Wow! You all sent me a lot of pics! It's so awesome to see so many Ordinary Heroes changing so many lives out there!
Now, next up is.......HAITI!!!
WE ARE HERE THIS WEEK SO FOLLOW OUR ADVENTURES AND SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP!