Monday, June 21, 2010

A Whirlwind, Yet Wonderful Weekend!

As I sat watching the Red Wings play yesterday afternoon, during a beautiful day at Frontier Field, I thought about how much had transpired over the past few days and what a whirlwind of a weekend it had been, but a wonderful weekend filled with great people all helping to create some good days and special times!

I started the weekend early, as I left the Camp Good Days’ Headquarters on Friday afternoon and headed over to Lakeshore Country Club for the Rich Funke, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament. It was so nice to be able to spend some time with Rich and Pat, and to see some of Rich Jr.’s friends from school, who continue to come out each year to play in and support this special event. It was also nice to see Molly Dillon, whose brother, Mark, was one of the original campers at Camp Good Days. Wendy also had the chance to see some people she hasn’t seen since high school, and overall, it was a great day of golf and friends!

On Saturday morning, I got up early and headed down to the Camp Good Days’ Recreational Facility, where the Young Adult Program was taking place, for those young men and women, ages 18-39 who are dealing with any form of cancer. What an extraordinary group of individuals! All of the young men and women were having a great time, in a beautiful environment, and sharing their experience with probably the only people in the world who can understand what they are going through – other young adults dealing with cancer. I am so pleased that we are able to provide this program for these young people, and that we are able to do so at no cost to the participants, as is the case with all of our programs.

In order for us to be able to provide our programs free of charge for the participants, we rely on the support and generosity of so many and the success of our special fundraising events. So, on Saturday afternoon, I left the Camp Good Days’ Recreational Facility and headed to Buffalo for the Camp Good Days’ Creative Black Tie Gala…Campers in Wonderland…which was a fantastic event coordinated by Lisa Donato in our Buffalo Office and her amazing team of volunteers and supporters. From the theme, to the decorations, the volunteers, campers, and guests, it was truly an evening in WONDERLAND!

In addition to raising some of the funds to support our programs and services it also provided the opportunity to spend an evening with some friends including Buffalo Sabres’ Head Coach, Lindy Ruff; Honorary Chairman, Paul Gaustad; outstanding supporters, Lorraine & Hormoz Mansouri; United States Attorney, William Hochul and his wife, Kathy; former United States Attorney, Denise O’Donnell and her husband, John; United States Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter and her husband, Bob; as well as longtime volunteers, Mike & Linda Spino, Larry Sicurella, Dick Esthimer, and so many more!

On behalf of all the children and families at Camp Good Days, I would like to thank all those who volunteered their time to make the Buffalo Creative Black Tie gala another wonderful success, and many thanks to all those who attended and generously supported the event!

As we begin a new week, during which we are all preparing for the start of the residential camping programs, I am looking forward to the week ahead and another whirlwind weekend, during which we will host the seventh of our Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs & Services) events, where we will join with local law enforcement and community agency partners to work in the Ontario & Scio Street neighborhood to help combat the crime and violence the residents there have dealt with; and to Saturday morning, as I have been invited to provide the Commencement Address at Gananda High School, where my granddaughter, Ryan, will graduate!

It is a busy time for sure, but as I reflect on the weekend past and think of what is coming this week, I feel blessed and honored to have such wonderful people and dear friends who all come together, in big ways and small, to help create some good days and special times that we all share!