Wow, what a fabulous night with a fabulous group of people.
All the stressing and getting down over the weeks leading up to the event melted away as the yacht left the dock Friday night!
Just to make sure that the boat had arrived, Amy and I took a little drive down to the dock at 9:00am. As we were walking past the boat and we were commenting on how glad that it was there, someone asked if he could help us. We commented that we had an event on the boat in the evening and we were just happy to see it had arrived. "You must be from BRIGHT Children International.""Why, yes we are." "We are looking forward to having you on board tonight!"
It was off for the whirlwind day of errand running and final touches. At that point, I had no dress and a long list of things to do. Everything took twice as long. The dress I had gotten had a hole and a new dress was supposed to arrive with UPS and as soon as it arrived, the boutique was to call me. Noon came and went and no calls. "It should arrive by late afternoon" was the answer when I called them for an update. I was supposed to arrive to set up on the boat at 4:00.
We were getting ready to load the cars with everything, one arm load at a time, it was going to take a while and some strength, cases of wine are not light. A man making a delivery at the building saw us carrying items and asked if we needed a hand truck. We said that would be great. Out he pulls the hand truck of all hand trucks, one large load got everything out to the car!
Around 2:30, the dress shop calls to say that they have the dress and I arrange for the hubby to pick it up on his way to the boat. Shortly after I receive another call from the shop, there is a bit of a problem. My dress is significantly longer than any of the other dresses. Technically it is not a dress it is a tunic. My dress, with the hole, is six inches longer than even the large. Houston, we have a problem. They told me to come by and decide what I wanted to do, find another dress, wear the one with the whole, you decide. Oh dear. It was decided that I would just wear the one with the small hole and we would catch up with the store later regarding a long term solution but I needed a dress and didn't have time to try on dresses and change the whole wardrobe.
We arrive at the boat at 4:30. They announce to me that they have decided to set us up on the larger deck due to increased numbers. The crew was great and making adjustments and meeting our needs. The tables looked nice and we had much more space than we would have had on the smaller deck.
People started arriving at 6:15. By 7:00 most people had arrived and were boarded. We were missing a few and knew that one had gotten stuck in a detour. We waited until 7:20 and everyone that was going to make it had arrived. I apologized to the captain for having to keep people waiting. His comment was "It is your boat, we can wait as long as necessary." BRIGHT had the whole boat to move about, three decks and for the price of the one deck!!
The music was delightful, the company fantastic, the desserts and appetizers delicious.
The best of all...BRIGHT had the best first fundraiser one could ask for. Just from ticket, silent auction, and raffle ticket sales we raised over $6,500. This will cover the expenses incurred for the event and the trip to Bulgaria. With additional donations given, we will be able to make donations of instruments to families with children with Down Syndrome, the orphanage(s) and safe house while we are there.
God has provided and met our needs for our first event and trip. He is faithful and patient with us when we have little faith. He brings people together and provides support. He builds friendships and reminds us that He is God. He removes the stress and shows us that everything will work out in His plan.
Thank you to all of you have provided us with support through encouraging words, your hard work, your generosity, and so much more. It is with your support that we can go to Bulgaria and share the power of music and the acceptance of children with special needs. Please continue to pray that things continue to fall into place and for safe travels. We depart on our journey on March 16.
It is time to turn our energy toward our presentations and learning Bulgarian children's songs.