Sorry it took me a week to sign in and give you the total raised last weekend! I have been sick and finally gave up and went bed on Thursday evening, where I've been ever since. I missed the most beautiful weekend of fall, no doubt, because I haven't left the house. I'm starting to feel a bit better now, thank goodness. Anyway...
I was all ready to post that the grand total raised was $22,093. Isn't that simply out of this world??? But wait, I opened an email from Rhonda, photographer extraordinaire, which informed me that I should add another $28 from photo sales. It floored me to read the new total:
We began our Saturday at MVTH, where Rick and Matty got to meet the riders, their parents, and of course, the horses. It was "Rider Appreciation Day," but in my eyes, there was appreciation all around...appreciation for the kids, the parents, the staff and volunteers, and for Rick. Visiting MVTH is heartwarming, inspiring and breathtaking all at the same time. We had such a wonderful visit (with Rick and Shannon ending up in grass skirts...lolol). I am so glad that we had the opportunity to show Cowboy Rick what the program is about, how much Sahara enjoyed attending lessons there, and why we love MVTH so dearly. He got it. Everybody did. Rhonda worked her usual magic and took the most incredible photos. You can check out her photos from the entire day at rhondarenee8.smugmug.com/MVTH08.
I hope that many of you had the great fortune to meet Grayson, Sahara's instructor at MVTH, my benefit partner and all-around Energizer bunny. Could Sahara pick great people or what??? I continue to be amazed by the great choices she made in so many ways. Grayson epitomizes what MVTH is all about...love and concern for her riders. Sahara picked up on that immediately. Grayson and Kandy gave Sahara such joy and we are forever grateful. Now, we are blessed with friendship with Grayson and her wonderful husband Larry. I believe we all have Sahara to thank for that! We had so much fun putting the benefit together week by week over the summer. It's weird now that it is over...but we definitely have some ideas for fundraising projects in the future. I can't wait to work with them again!The signing at PMac was great fun, with Shannon playing the part of Ronnie for the afternoon. (I thought he did a great job!) Thanks to everyone at PMac for all of their hard work, from ticket sales, putting up with hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls, and for hosting the signing. We appreciate all of you!
Rick was feeling rough but put on a great show as always. I don't know how he does it. I think it was purely his love for Sahara and her ever-present spirit that gave him the voice to sing that night, because he certainly didn't have much left! It was amazing. As he finished singing St. Sahara, barely making it through at all, the entire place stood up and applauded. I just stood there with tears running down my face...what a precious moment. To everyone who was there...our guests, our silent auction donors, our many volunteers, Sheryl and Don Henley, Crystal Britt, Mayor Jay Knudtson, Phil and the staff of Buckner's...thank you.
Our meet and greet was fun but Rick was fading fast. He managed to take photos with everyone but was definitely ready to hit the hay at the end of the evening. Thanks to everyone for your patience and respect for Rick as we tried to make things go quickly. And even more thanks to Rhonda for photographing the evening! I know that everyone is loving their photos.
As we drove the guys back to the airport on Sunday, we kept talking about how great the previous day had been. Rick and Matty truly had a great time and support our efforts more than ever. We thank them for giving us their time and talents as we continue to give it our all for MVTH.
If you were present for any part of our wonderful day, I hope you'll take a second to post your experiences. We hope you had as much fun as we did!
More photos to come as I slowly come back to life and get them uploaded. I'll also fill you in on our trip to Vegas for our 24th anniversary!