"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." (1 Thess. 5:11)
In the weeks leading up to the fundraiser, we were blessed by our brothers and sisters in Christ in a multitude of ways. I'm going to list some of them.
1. Libby Libretti, our church secretary, came up with our flyer and printed the tickets and flyers using her own time and creativity.
2. Our friend and accountant, Nate Kilton, sent out our flyer to his contacts and sold tickets for us.
3. Friends and fellow church members, Marco and Jessica Caporale, who own Family Firearms, donated the guns used for the raffle and silent auction. They also sold over 50 raffle tickets for us through their store. Way to go, Family Firearms!
4. The following people and businesses donated items for the silent auction: Cody Glisson, All A Bloom Florist, Tausha Krohn, I-4 Power, Mitch Rodriquez, Ginger Blackmon, Jim and Robyn Jeffries, Barbara Kicklighter, Heidi Johnson, Shelley Murrell, J & G Jewelers, Jules Burt, Phil Engstrom, Carol Taylor at Sudio 3 Salon, Dan & Gay Smith, Courtney Murrell, Arrowhead Archery, Angie Zavodny, Remco Transmission, and Selina Keely at Martin's Place Salon. Some of them donated more than one item.
5. Roy Peterson at Toufayan Bakery donated the hamburger buns and cookies.
6. My mother-in-law took me to Sam's Club with her membership so I could buy paper goods.
7. Publix "happened" to be running a special, BOGO, that week on tea.
8. Our church allowed us to set up a table in the lobby to sell tickets for the fundraiser.
9. Our friends from church, Rob and Sheri Dusse, donated strawberries which they hand dipped in chocolate for the dinner. They spent a lot of time helping us in various ways.
10. Avery Kicklighter and Rob Dusse loaded tables and chairs with Alan at the church the day before the fundraiser.
11. Avery Kicklighter, Rob Dusse, Nate Kilton, and Jim Sun went with Alan late Saturday night after the fundraiser was over to put the tables and chairs back.
12. Family members Johnny and Penny Lee, Gary and Jan Nelson, Mark and Wendy McLeod, Bonnie Futch, Becky Kicklighter, and Avery and Barbara Kicklighter served food.
13. Friends Cindy Cunningham, Stephanie Kilton, and Rob and Sheri Dusse served food.
14. Friends Marie St. Brun and Stacy McCoy worked ticket tables.
15. Niece Kelley Giovannucci worked at a ticket table.
16. Pam Bell from Everyday Blessings spoke.
17. Neighbors came over for the event.
18. Friends came for the event.
19. Family came for the event.
20. People we didn't even know came to the event.
21. People who couldn't come purchased raffle tickets.
22. My sister, Ginger Blackmon, and her friend, Stacy McCoy, drove all the way from Jacksonville to come over and help set up. They came Friday night and all day Saturday.
23. My parents, Jim and Robyn Jeffries, kept my nephew, Bode, so that Ginger and Stacy could spent time helping.
24. Sweetbay Supermarket donated water bottles and wine.
25. Five Alarm Party Rentals gave us almost a rent one/ get one deal on bouncy houses.
26. Youth Group members came to help park cars and play with kids: Allen Hall, Joey McIntosh, Joey Coleman, Marty Crosson, Noah Humphrey, Berlyn St. Brun, Sydney St. Brun, Carly Manfre, Jennifer Tharrington, Cynthia Tharrington, and Cat Howard.
27. Hannah Dusse helped Jayde paint faces in the kids area.
28. Grandpa Johnson's BBQ gave us a huge discount on the food. It was delicious.
29. Jeremy Burris donated strawberries.
30. Our septic system backed up with over an hour left of the fundraiser. Everyone had to use the bathroom in the barn because the bathrooms in the house were not working. In spite of this, not one person complained.
31. Ace Jackson and the Jump Kings, consisting of Jeff Jackson, Paul Woods, Paulie McGoldrick, Keith Buckingham, and Carlton Cunningham played an entire show for free. They rocked it! The night would not have been the same without them.
32. The weather was perfect. Warm, but not hot, and no rain.
33. All of our animals behaved.
34. No neighbors complained about the noise. They were probably rocking out to the band from their porches.
35. People were able to read the board and papers about orphans and take home a paper with ways they can help.
36. Every silent auction item was sold.
37. Some people gave donations even if they could not attend the evening.
38. My in-laws, Avery and Barbara, came early to help set up (Avery moved lots of tables and chairs).
39. We raised about $6000 after expenses!
If I counted each person separately and every single act of kindness that was extended to us in connection with this night, I would not have room on the blog. I am so very thankful for all of our family and friends. I cannot imagine life without them. God made us to be in relationship with each other, and Alan and I are blessed to have many wonderful relationships.
I'll sign off with a huge THANKS to everyone who had any part in the success of the night, and some pictures.