Last night was a reminder. A whisper from my childhood. An anthem that created me.
Surrounded by hundreds of voices and led by a broadway goddess I’ve seen many times before. They had no idea how important that night was to me. I will forever remember it saw and hold it in my heart with me.
Friendship of amazing talents and gifts gathered together to join voices and advocate change. We were hired to be the auction company that would help them raise money at their big gala. They has so many rollercoasters in planning but the last one shook my communty to its core. A dear friend, auctioneer and mentor, Kathy Kingston passed away suddenly from a heart attack. The gala planning crew went into a tizzy because they didn’t know what to do without their auctioneer. After some incredible fundraising moments with my friend Marsha Dimes last year we bonded and stayed in contact. She was on the auction committee so when they freaked out they thought of me. Shocked as I answered my phone to find out that their auctioneer was someone I held so high in my life. I never expected the emotional roller coaster this would be.
The gala was one of a kind. An entire night of awe and wonder. Our team of A+ auctioneers worked tirelessly planning and preparing. The auction was outstanding. Words can’t describe the awesomeness of the night. The crowd lit up and stepped up to support their communty in a major way. They hit their goal about 1/4 of the way into our fundraising and then kept going. It was going so well we had to make quick changes but it still managed to more than double their pie in the sky goal… but again the best was yet to come…. this is where my true adventure opened up. A bit of back story 1st.
***Flashback*** Opening night of Rent on Broadway it’s creator, Jonathan Larson passed away from HIV/AIDS. I was 14 when that happened. As a family of Broadway goers Rent was obviously on my list. My 1st love was Les Miserables but when the first chord filled the theater my core shook. I saw the show 3 times with it’s original cast and then with other casts many times. The effects changed my life forever. I think this was the 1st influence outside of my family to really create who I am. I felt the urgency of community. I felt the need to fix our culture and society. I fell in love with all types of love. I demanded respect and care for each of those characters as if their were my friends. I realized that a family was what we said it was and everyone needed one.
The years between the 1st night to now flooded me. It was like seeing my entire life before my eyes as I was now awaked to a room of strangers and yet they were family. This community that lost too many to AIDS, hate, discrimination and self shaming awoke that scream inside of me. My WHY could have jumped on the mic and sung out brighter than Idina herself. Idnia Menzel was the original Mimi in Rent. Since clearly I felt related to her because I saw the show so much, it was like seeing a long lost sister now being incredibly successful after working so hard… I was so proud and honored to not just be in the room but I was just on the mic she was using, standing where she was standing!
As she sang it felt like she was glueing a million humans together. Tears flowed as my heart exploded for Idina andthe Turtle Creek Choral. She unleashed the feelings that made the world spin and our songs surround us.
Ive had the privilege to also see her in Wicked and well I’m a fan girl for sure, but what happened at that gala was magic.
The road from where we start never feels clear. I have spent a lot of time working on who I want to be and how I can best serve the world. I question my own personal life as well as my professional and advocate work. I always find myself back to the feeling of belonging. At the gala it was a clear night of everyone belonging. It was magic and wonderful but
then a moment happened that changed me forever… I was 14 again, full of hope and dreams and passion, but older and full of life experience, loss, grief, pain, ego and anger……..
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died
It’s time now to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
Measure in love
Measure, measure your life in love
Surrounded by the phenomenal Turtle Creek Chorale singing their hearts out with Idina. I am trying to find the words but only find my heart exploding tears.
I do what I do because the young person in me that saw the injustice of a world has been striving every single day to use my gifts to fix them. I do what I do for my why. I auction for nonprofits I believe in because I want to do everything in my power to make enable them to make the world better. I do what I do because I am idealistic and I am forever looking for my tribe. I am looking for my village, my family. I do what I do because I know we are all looking for that. We are all looking for a friend that will be there whenever you call, for someone to sit by your side when you are lost, a soul to be decent to us in a time of need, we are all looking to believe in humanity and find those people that want to blend their voice with yours and create a harmony bigger than is parts. I do what I do for my why.
There is a reminder from Rent that I felt i needed to share. I think we all need a reminder of it every single day.
There is no day but today.
Nothing is promised, thank you for spending time reading about my why. If you want to be part of my village I am always here for you.
I’d also like to thank my team, my friends, my family and their villages, I am thankful from the bottom of my heart for every breath you take. Each of us deserve love and a voice.
I am honored that last night I could celebrate the life of one of my mentors, Kathy Kingston.
I am proud of the hardwork, dedication and wild success of the Turtle Creek Chorale.
Thank you to my professional kick ass team that stepped up to fill in and support us helping with the sudden heartbreaking loss (AHA!) on site (Bobby D., Jennifer Gableman, Mike Jones, BJ Jennings, Mario Pacheco) and virtually (Shannon Mays, Jill Marie Wiles, Chery Boots Sutton, Johnna Wells, Jill Doherty, Deb Rutono, Danielle Vogel and so many others.) Together we all have a part in the shaping of a better world. My why feels possible when passionate professionals join with incredible organizations. Together raising critical funds for the mentors of every day that gather us together in growth.
Thank you God for the gift of this life and how I am able to live beyond me in service.