Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Trip to Bakersfield

The worlds sweetest leprechaun, my great nephew, Aaron
Aaron and Aunt Cheryle
The barn and horses after a big rain

Gracie and Will with a perfect pretzel she made for Lent. That twisting is harder than it looks!
Amanda making lenten pretzels

This is too funny, Sam went outside to play the accordian and all of the cattle came running. They stayed right next to him the entire time he played!

Gracie, Jake and Will listening to Joe play his guitar in the back of his truck

Friends forever--Sam and his cousin, Alex

Will pretty much wanted to wear his Pop's cowboy hat ALL of the time, even while watching TV!
My nephew, Phillip
Will and my niece Amanda
The barn and horses as the sun rises on a foggy Bakersfield morning

We have just returned from two weeks back home in Bakersfield. The main purpose of our trip was to attend the Madorom Wine Release. Friends in Napa own a winery which produces an amazing wine called Madorom and they bring their current vintage to Bakersfield for a release party and an auction which benefits Angioma Alliance and another great charity, The Small Miracles Foundation. Each year I give a speech, but this year I was beyond nervous because with the exciting developments happening in the research of cavernous angiomas it is more important than ever that Angioma Alliance remain in good financial standing. However, given the current state of the economy, I wasn't sure that we would be able to raise as much as we did last year. Needless to say, I felt a lot of anxiety about this event, as it is the largest single fundraiser for Angioma Alliance and the grants that we normally secure by this time each year are unavailable. So I was really hoping that we would come close to the $76,000 we raised last year. But God is bigger than my hopes! I believe the final total will come in at $135,00!!! Plus we raised even more in donations from family and friends in Bakersfield. The best was from my niece Gracie who surprised me with a birthday card that had $1,335 in donations to Angioma Alliance. She had been saving her money and doing extra jobs, but for her birthday she asked only for donations to Angioma Alliance instead of presents! Isn't that the best birthday present you have ever heard of??? She is one amazing girl--I am so lucky to call her my niece!

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