To quote my husband, “Everything is 2/3 planning with 1/3 execution” which is a concept that I have chuckled at more often than not simply thinking it was his military brain rational but not reality. The more involved I have become with various non-profit organizations and events I realize that non-profit work is just that – far more planning than execution. Currently I am in the midst of being on planning committees for two major events for Got Your Back, our annual Project Gratitude event with Miss America as well as Martini’s & Makeovers which is our only fundraising event. This is in addition to coordinating 4 separate nights with the Anaheim Angels for Got Your Back Heroes and being on the committee for an upcoming Portrait of the Fallen art show.
Being part of these wonderful organizations that give so much back to honor our fallen service members and their families is a joy that is indescribable. The upcoming events are ones that I have enjoyed immensely in the past; whether it has been the planning, the execution or seeing the visible aftermath in smiles, each moment is worth it. I wanted to better describe some of our events as they are so important to each family that attends.
|These smiles make every moment of planning worth it!|
Project Gratitudeis an annual VIP event to honor and celebrate surviving spouses and daughters of our fallen heroes in collaboration with the Department of Defense, Miss America Organization as well as celebrities and corporations. This event starts 3 days before Miss America with daily excursions and fun for both mom and daughter. This trip provides a great opportunity to further increase the bond between parent/child, the children and their moms.
Martini’s& Makeoversis the only fundraiser for Got Your Back Network each year. In 2012 I Co-Produced this event as our first on the West Coast. 10 Surviving Spouses of our fallen were treated to makeovers by 3 salons; they were the VIP honored guests for the evening. This event raised $10,000 for programs and services provided by the Got Your Back Network
Portraits of the Fallenis an organization that commemorates the sacrifice if those America military service members from California who have died while serving our country during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The organization pairs a grieving family with an artist to render an image as a creative means for remembrance and healing.
Nights with the Angelsis such a fun night! For the past 2 years Got Your Back Heroes has coordinated these nights with the Anaheim Angels major league baseball team for a night of simple giggles. This is one of our smaller events because the intimacy of it keeps ‘once in a lifetime moment’ therefore each of 4 nights per season includes 5 families of the fallen. The families are able to attend batting practice on the field, meet some of the players as well as attend the game. We have had a great time with this event each year. Last season one of our families was also invited to throw out the first pitch on Memorial Day – which was something I was so humbled to be a part of as I couldn't have picked a better family to honor their father in this way.
I never imagined that I would admit that my husband was right, but the man and his military brain make sense more commonly than I will admit to him. I’m lucky that I get to learn from the best!