It’s “Benefit for the Amazing Ben Day”

WHAT AN AMAZING DAY! My dear friend, Angela, sent me an email back when we found out that Ben relapsed in July. She asked “Can we hold a benefit for your family at the Outback on September 27? Just say yes or no. You don’t have to be there if you can’t make it.” I replied that they could do that and went back to the grueling world of having a child with cancer.

I wouldn’t say that I forgot about it. I knew that she had recruited a few people – namely Ms. Nancy (Mad’s former preschool teacher) – to help organize the event. But I just had no idea what all they were up to. I did know that they wanted to sell 200 tickets for a luncheon with proceeds going to us for Ben’s treatment. Wow. 200 tickets. I thought that was a lot.

Fast forward to today. Ben was feeling good so we were able to attend the event. When we arrived there were fire trucks out front waiting to take Ben and Madeline for a ride. I went inside the restaurant while Dad was on the truck with the kids and was completely overwhelmed. There was a bake sale. There was a silent auction loaded with donations. There were hundreds of people. Many of these people I had never even met. I was amazed by the outpouring of love and support. Stunned.

Ben’s pediatrician came! Madeline’s Kindergarten teacher, preschool teachers and former preschool director were there! Ben’s home/hospital teacher came as well as many of his school buddies. Families who have children at Canyon Creek and didn’t even know our family personally attended. So many people! Michael, the owner of the Outback, said that they served 295 plates today, which is about 100 more than he usually does for a benefit. Wow. And then there were people who bought tickets who weren’t able to come – they just wanted to donate. The outpouring of love and support was simply amazing.

Ben’s favorite guest was his girlfriend, Skyler. They still have big plans to marry someday. 🙂

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At the silent auction four people bid on four buddy passes for us to use when we need to fly to New York. Meg, the director of Madeline’s preschool, brought a jar of change that the preschool kids had been contributing to over the past few weeks. It was a gigantic jar that weighed 17 lbs, 4 oz.! We’ve yet to count what’s in there. Ben is very excited to count it all!

We are amazed, overwhelmed, and humbled. What an incredible outpouring of support. Thank you, everyone. Thank you Angela and Nancy for all your incredible work. Thank you Michael for hosting the event and continuing your amazing kindness to our family. Thank you friends and supporters for all you’ve so generously given.Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so completely overwhelmed that I had to come home after the event and take a five-hour nap. Now I’m gonna be up all night 🙂

Click on the link below to look at more pictures from the event.

I’ll be sure to update when we have the grand total!

http://photos.benbrewer.org/index.php?album=outback-benefit-sept-2009

More later 🙂

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