A great time was had by all!!! That was the consensus from everyone present at Saturday's Fundraiser for Zack. The day which followed Friday's double blood transfusion, assuring Zack would be better protected. A day that was filled with old friends and new friends.
The weather couldn't be more perfect if we had "ordered" it! Friday was full of rain and overflowing rivers, we weren't sure what to expect and here, it was perfect! The view, breathtaking. The Pavillion was closed in on three sides and open in the front, overlooking a man made lake filled with ducks splashing around and entertaining the little ones. Picnic tables spread out around the grass for those who wished to take advantage of the warm sunlight and the smell of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs filled the air.
Six young men from Zack's old Boy Scout Troop 701, set up chairs, tables and did everything from parking duty, poster placement and pouring drinks to trash collection and break down at the end. They were so eager to help and though I offered to sign off on community service hours, they all said "they were here for Zack and us!" It was especially touching when one of the younger Scouts, at my request, led us all in the pledge of allegiance while standing in front of the two flags they had brought.
Tables were set up inside with chips, beans, drinks and desserts. On the other side were tables filled with donated items for the silent auction. Three bands were present, each taking an hour set to play their own special music. "The Bishop Brothers" were a group of three men which Frank and his Brother Mitch had grown up with. They are as Southern Gentlemen as they come, with every sentence followed with "'Mam". Their voices blended in together in such harmony, you couldn't wait for the next song. There were several occasions to dance and Nancy, Jamie, Shawn and I took full advantage!! We didn't care who was there watching us, we were going to loosen up and have a great time!! There was plenty of dance floor and plenty of good music! At one point the band members father asked if I "two stepped." I said that I never had, "well, here we go then!" He took me all around the floor, teaching me the two step while his sons played and sang. I haven't laughed so much in a long time.
As people followed the bright red balloons that marked the long winding pathway, they were greeted by Jessica, (my associate and dear sweet friend from work) who would take their ticket and stamp a smiley face on their hand. Most of the time I was standing beside her to be the official "hugger." Nancy and Sue would walk around greeting folks and showing them where everything was, while thanking them for coming. Behind the grill was Doc Steve and another great friend Mike. They worked endlessly preparing all the food, which was then brought to Romona ( a long time friend from Boy Scouts) and Sue's friend Jennifer who was collecting food money and handing out desserts. Jamie stood by the silent auction items and had a home for everything by the end of the party.
The turnout was great! All of Zack's closest friends were there as they have always been, supporting him and making sure he was having a good time, which he did!! As I watched the picnic table where he choose as his home base, there wasn't a time he wasn't surrounded. My routine when someone would ask about him was to point to him and smile. I would share the latest news, that he only has two more chemo treatments and is cancer free! Music to everyone's ears! Frank would be found milling around from one person to another. Not being one for small talk, he remained close to those he knew, friends, clients, business associates and family members. He almost didn't come, as he was embarrassed about the whole thing. "We were raised to pay our own bills and not ask for help!" I would have to explain several times that this is more about Zack and our friends wanting to to do this for us. It is a celebration of the end of his treatments!! He did have a good time and was finally able to relax and appreciated all the effort and hard work that went into making this an amazing gathering.
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