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Archive for "Community"

Child Start’s Brews & Books Event at CSB

Posted on July 9, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

Here are some pictures from Child Start’s Brews & Books event at Central Standard Brewing a couple of weeks ago.

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I thought I would post the pictures first this time and tell stories later. Anyway, I invited a ton of people to this event but only a handful showed up. Boo!

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Although, I can’t say anything about Shane because he was the man! He gathered up a huge box of children’s books from Sara and the kids’ collection and, since he couldn’t make it to the event, he gave me the books at work so that we could donate them to Child Start on his behalf.

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Brian got a workout carrying the big box full of books from the car to the event inside CSB. He is also the man! There is no way I could have gotten that enormous box full of books to the door by myself.

Story time!

This night was kind of interesting in many ways. First, I’d known about it a while since I’m on Child Start‘s development committee. It had been on the calendar for at least a couple of months and I even invited several coworkers to the event.

About a week or so before this Chad, an old friend from college who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years until recently, mentioned he would be in town for the week to pack up his stuff and move Kansas City. Chad was on Facebook for a while before he deleted his account almost two years ago and then just disappeared completely. I had no real contact with him after our MBA commencement other than playing Words with Friends on and off. It’s a game that he is apparently addicted to — I can’t say anything though, because I derive enjoyment from playing it as well.

Here’s a picture of Chad from our MBA graduation/hooding ceremony in 2008.

The Chad

Obviously, we’d known each other for over ten years. I knew him mostly through school but I didn’t really know him very well outside of that. I was surprised when he hit me up to use me a reference for a job he was applying for earlier this year. I liked Chad. He was smart, hardworking, and easy to get along with. We worked together on some projects while in school and I never had any problems with him. There are people in college who are such slackers that you absolutely hate working with them and you hope to never see them again — ever. He was not one of these guys. Even though I knew very little about him personally other than he liked playing Words, and the request took me by surprise, I was happy to be a reference.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when he asked if Brian and I would like to meet up for dinner and catch up. I told him that sounds great but I would need to check with Brian. Brian and I checked the calendar and every single day after work already has stuff going on. We were completely booked up. I told Brian that I was just going to invite Chad to the Brews & Books event at CSB and kill two birds with one stone.

Chad showed up. We had a nice time visiting and catching up. He also got to meet a few of our friends and acquaintances. Two of them were my coworkers. Yes, out of all of the people from work I invited, only Alex and Tisha showed up. They are the cool ones, though. Tisha even went above and beyond by purchasing books from the Blue Baboon book truck and donating some to Child Start. She helped in a couple of ways because Blue Baboon committed to donating a portion of the revenues from that evening to Child Start. The rest of us helped by drinking beers. I think CSB donated $1 to Child Start for every beer sold that night.

Despite most of my invitees not showing up, it was a great turnout. The place was completely packed inside. That’s how come we ended up sitting outside. It worked out great because it was a nice evening and it’s a lot easier to have conversation on the patio where it’s not as loud. Were it not for Alex who got there first though, we probably would not have had anywhere to sit at all — inside or outside — it was that busy! The organizers did a great job of spreading the word but also part of the credit goes to the Flying Stove, my first favorite food truck. CSB is always packed on the nights when the Flying Stove is parked there.

Speaking of invitees, Brian and I were at the dog park in Andover with our girls the day before and we met Ray (the dog pictured with Brian above) and his owner Megan. She’s really friendly and we had good conversation. We found out that she’s looking for a new home for Ray for when she moves to the East Coast for school. We mentioned that we would be at the Brews & Books event at CSB and that she could come and bring Ray and perhaps introduce him to some of our friends and one of them may fall in love and adopt him. We really had the Travel Junkies Jay and Becca in mind but they couldn’t make it.

Actually, we didn’t think Megan would actually show up, after all we were complete strangers. Not only did she show up and bring Ray, she also brought a couple of books to donate to Child Start, which was a really nice and generous gesture considering that the day before, when we were chatting at the dog park, she told us that she’s one of these people who cannot bear to part with books.

Anyway, how is it that my friends don’t show up to events I’ve invited them to but someone I’d only known a few hours does? I really like Megan and she did me a solid by showing up. I think she should become my friend. LOL.

Later that evening we run into Misty’s sister Michelle and her friend Sonny. They end up sitting and visiting with us. The funny part about this is Alex also knows Sonny from her days working at Heroes. As they’re catching up they realize that they live only a few yards from one another. Wichita is such a small world!

There were lots of positive things that happened that evening besides the book drive and raising awareness for Child Start. Some of our friends got to meet one another. Brian and I got stamps on our Wicked Brew passports (more on that next time, probably when we finally earn our shirts). The best part is I managed to plant the seed for hosting a party at our house. Brian hates throwing parties because he doesn’t like having a bunch of people over. I love having people over but, because it takes so much effort to convince him, we hadn’t had a party in over a year. Maybe it hasn’t been that long but it definitely feels like forever.

It took a little bit more discussion after that night at CSB but I did manage to get Brian on board and in party mode. The party happened last weekend and it was interesting. Come back next time and I’ll tell you that story.

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Summer Heat Relief

Posted on July 3, 2017 by under Community, Free Stuff.    

Pictures from our free fan giveaway at the Salvation Army a couple of weeks ago.

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I only volunteered to help with the one in Wichita, but we’ve distributed free fans in Topeka, Newton, Salina, and a few other cities. I think work still has a bunch more fans to give away so they may be visiting a town near you here in the next few days. Be on the lookout!

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Heartspring Recognition Breakfast

Posted on June 29, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

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I attended the inaugural Heartspring Recognition Breakfast a few weeks ago and look who I ran into! What a happy coincidence!

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That’s not even the best part. The best part is that Jarrica and I were wearing the exact same Lularoe dress (the Amelia, which is my favorite LLR dress style) just in different prints. Oh, and her friend between us was wearing a Lularoe dress too. She’s wearing the Julia style.

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Another nice surprise was seeing Jenn Canare, a girl that my sister went to school with, receive several awards. I thought that was pretty neat.

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I had no idea that she’s a huge supporter of Heartspring.

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Brian was by himself at the office that week so he couldn’t attend. Since he couldn’t go, I recruited my coworker/friend Faith to be my plus-one. However, something came up and she couldn’t go either. She felt bad for bailing on me but I told her not to worry. I was sure that I’d run into some familiar faces.

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Besides running into Jarrica, I actually ran into another coworker who was seated at the same table as me. This is my coworker/friend Kristen. She recently joined the Heartspring board of directors and was a late addition to the event. As luck would have it, there was an empty seat at our table and we got to sit together. That worked out nicely. I didn’t have to be alone after all.

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The event was very nice. Heartspring President & CEO David Stupay provided an update about the organization and then they gave out several awards (a bunch of them to Jenn Canare and her team – LOL).

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At the end of the event, all of the guests got to take home coffee that was specially blended for Heartspring. That was a really nice touch. I took Faith’s back to the office for her at Kristen’s suggestion. The coffee smelled delicious but I ended up giving mine away. I don’t really drink coffee and Brian is allergic to blueberries.

which reminds me. I should ask Matt, my coworker that I gave my bag of coffee to, and Faith how the coffee was!

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Kentucky Derby Party

Posted on May 30, 2017 by under Community, Events.    

These are pictures from the Kentucky Derby Party event earlier this month. The fundraising event was hosted by the Rotary Club of East Wichita and benefited Starkey, EmberHope, and Heartspring.

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I donned by best hat and put on my party face and off we went!

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The boys had a great time competing in the horse-racing event.

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Brian and I agreed that I would not be any good at this event so we decided that he should represent team FLIP + CHING. He actually did quite well in his heat and advanced to the semi-finals and, eventually, the finals.

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This is what they were racing.

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I’m not sure who came up with this game but I found it clever and fun.

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This is the final round.

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Brian did fantastic overall and finished in third place.

Instead of having a silent auction, they decided to raffle off some of the smaller packages and then conducted a live auction for the bigger prize packages. All the prizes were great but the only one that we were interested in was the Symphony in the Flint Hills package. We didn’t end up winning that package because Brian and I couldn’t decide quickly enough whether or not we wanted to bid on it. However, I volunteered us to help with the SFH event this year so we are going to be there anyway. The best part of volunteering for these types of events is that I get credit for the volunteer hours and still get to enjoy the show!

This is a list of the generous people and businesses who made the first ever Kentucky Derby Party a success.

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I’m so glad Tammie invited us because we had a great time.

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I saw lots of familiar Rotarians and I also ran into Ginger’s daughter Sarah.

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Although we didn’t win any of the raffle or auction items, Brian got to hang out with some amazing people and learned more about the Kentucky Derby in one afternoon than we ever would have had we not attended the event. Tammie and the rest of the event committee did a fantastic job. They raised $10,500 for the three charities.

It was a fabulous fundraising event/party and a great way to spend our Saturday afternoon.

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WASAC’s Take Back the Night

Posted on May 21, 2017 by under Community, Events, Things to Do.    

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These are pictures from our team building volunteer activity for the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center‘s Take Back the Night event. My friend and coworker Alex is an avid volunteer for the agency and she arranged it so that we would man the Community Quilt Project station at the event.

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I don’t really know much about WASAC and their programs but I agreed to volunteer in support of Alex. She is always so generous with her time and volunteers for things at organizations that I’m passionate about so it was my turn to return the favor. There are no pictures of Brian because he didn’t want to do this event with me. It turned out all right because we had enough representation at the event. It would have been nice to have him there but it was okay that he wasn’t. There wasn’t much to the volunteer activity.

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We basically just talked with people at the event and encouraged them to participate in the Community Quilt Project. We had two tables with several blank fabric squares and colorful markers. We also had completed squares on display as examples. Each person’s contribution is an art work or saying on fabric square, which would then be incorporated into a big community quilt.

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I wanted to contribute to the Community Quilt Project so I designed a couple of patches also. Some people got really artsy and did drawings but I’ve never been any good at that so I just wrote a bunch of encouraging words down and decorated/colored them.

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I’d never been to one of these events before so this was my first. I’m not sure what the participation and attendance was like last year but this event was very well attended. I think it also helped that some awesome food trucks were there, including my friend’s truck Kamayan.

It was interesting to hear stories from survivors and supporters. I think it actually worked out better that Brian didn’t go because he would not have had the attention span for it. Please visit the WASAC web site to learn more about support groups, volunteer opportunities, advocacy, and other services.

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