I could not be more pleased with the Happy Heart Walk 2014...it was truly a beautiful success! It felt like a big party, a real celebration of life, community, love, and blessings. And we really were celebrating where we've come and how well Henry is doing right now. We have no idea what the years ahead will bring, but we hope that at every Happy Heart Walk that we can be celebrating where we are at present with the same joy that surrounded us all last Saturday.
We were blessed with the most perfect weather, 70 degrees and sunny, which is definitely a risk for this time of year in the Bay Area. Nearly 200 people attended, and many many more participated, both here and afar. We were able to provide a delicious lunch, thanks to Whole Foods, Susiecakes, and Gianna's Baking Co...grilled sausages and hot dogs, chips and guac and hummus, fruit, slaw, cupcakes, and cookies, which all happen to be Henry's favorite foods (except the fruit :) ). It was such a fun day! We promoted important awareness about Barth Syndrome, and to top it off, we raised a lot of money to send to the Barth Syndrome Foundation! This was not even the main purpose of this event, but it sure is icing on the cake to a perfect day!
Thank you to all who participated...Thank you to everyone who purchased a t-shirt...we sold 192 t-shirts total! Many of those will be worn around the bay area, but several will be worn in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas! They looked so great as group...I hope you all liked them and will wear them throughout the year to continue to promote our cause. FYI, nearly 75% of what you paid for a shirt is being donated to the Foundation, thanks to a great local screen printing company I found that deeply discounted and donated a portion of the costs, Eastbay Screenprint in Concord.
Thank you to all of the local businesses who donated goods and money to make our day and the walk so enjoyable. Peet's Coffee, the Lafayette Carwash, SusieCakes, Gianna's Baking Company, Boswell's, and Whole Foods were our sponsors this year, and we would love to have them participate in the years to come! It was important to us to have community support for this event that we are hoping only continues to grow each year. We are a Lafayette family and to have the places where we spend our time and money give back and support us and a cause so near and dear to our hearts was just great. There was such an awesome sense of community when we gathered that day, and that is something we want to continue to foster through this event.
Thank you everyone who donated to the Barth Syndrome Foundation...in all, we are sending them approximately $10,000 (this includes online donations as well). WOW! We are overwhelmed with your generosity. I truly believe that with this money, the Foundation will be able to award a grant to someone who will make an advancement in finding a cure for Barth Syndrome. This gives me hope that the Happy Heart Walk could be an ongoing fruitful event that not only heightens awareness of Barth Syndrome and promotes an important need for community and support, but an event that raises necessary funds to help these boys in desperate need.
Thank you to everyone who took a beautiful Saturday to spend with us. We hope that you considered it completely worth it :) We feel so loved, so supported, and so taken care of. And that is invaluable. We are blessed with an amazing family and an amazing group of friends. Thank you to all of the friends of friends that came that we don't even know so well! I told someone last week that it is those people that care about the betterment of this world more than themselves and their own to-do list that inspire me to do the same. What an act of love.
Thank you to the people who sporadically and so willingly gave a helping hand! Down by the water, participants were greeted with Peet's Coffee upon arrival and given cute reusable goodie bags from Whole Foods filled with coupons, information about Barth Syndrome, and treats. The kids got their cheeks stamped with a red heart (thanks to a creative friend who brought supplies!) and sugared up on lollipops and heart palmiers before racing around the Reservoir. Meanwhile, several of the men hauled food, tables, etc up the hill to the picnic site. They got the picnic site all set up and manned the grills, headed up by Papa. I am so thankful for willing and intuitive people who see a need and get to work...countless people helped haul supplies, pick things up, set-up and organize, flip hot dogs, and make things look pretty, and most of them were not asked to do a thing...they simply did it. Thank you to all of these people who enabled John and I to enjoy the moment and walk with the group, rather than set-up and fret over the details :) (A minor detail I failed to make sure was taken care!)
Thank you to out-of-town friends who bought shirts and/or gathered in Henry's honor and in support of the Happy Heart Walk. We had people all over California, in Texas, and in Tulsa who came together promoting happy hearts. It is so special to know how wide the love and support runs.
Thank you to Jake Brooks, a dear friend, for volunteering to photograph the day...he is super talented in this hobby of his, and always does a fantastic job capturing the overall atmosphere along with all of the details of an event. And always manages to get the best out of people, all without being obtrusive. We are so thankful for these images that will help us relive the day for years to come. Check out his site! Family Style Photography. The Happy Heart Walk is under the blog pulldown.
Thank you to everyone who offered to help next year! I will definitely take you up on it! Stay tuned...
We made it into the Lamorinda Weekly...click to see the article. Thank you Lamorinda Weekly!
A lastly, thank you to Whole Foods Lafayette. We were blown away by their support and generosity. They were eager and glad to help, and made me feel like it was truly their pleasure and that is so nice when you are asking others for help and money. We were already a fan (and very regular shoppers) and now we are so much more...didn't know that was possible! Thank you for supporting our family like you did. Thank you to everyone who "liked" their Facebook page, posted about the event, and promoted the Happy Heart Walk on social media! If you know me, that is not my forte, but I am trying to get better! Thank you for picking up my slack and helping us raise awareness and money in this way!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for loving us the way you do, thank you for taking care of us the way you do, and thank you for caring about Henry and other boys just like him and wanting to make their lives better. We are so loved. We are so blessed. And we are so grateful to call you friends!
To see photos from the day and all over the country where people were sporting their Happy Heart Shirts, click on the Photos tab above.