When we had the pleasure of meeting Will and the fellow board members for the Gina McReynolds Foundation, they invited us to spend the weekend at their biggest fundraiser of the year – a golf tournament. So this weekend, we did just that – and what an experience it was.
We arrived during a massive downpour on Friday night that caused the outdoor acoustic concert and dinner to be moved inside. The concert and dinner was held for the families they have helped and the volunteers assisting with the event. The room that we stayed in was one of the rooms that were generously donated by sponsors of the event. The moment we arrived at the golf lodge, we were greeted with big smiles and lots of hugs – and that didn’t stop all weekend.
Once checked in and settled, we headed to dinner where we met many of the volunteers and supporters of the organization. Dinner was delicious and we enjoyed listening to Tobacco Road play throughout the evening – the guitar player was even a pink guitar with Team Gina’s name on it! The guitar player promised to play it at all his events going forward too! We sat with another couple that we met upon check in and found out that we had lots in common. Will was right when he said he thought we’d get along great! The evening was lots of fun and left us excited for the following day’s festivities.
Saturday brought lots of sunshine and clouds that were so low to the sky, it felt like you could touch them. We spent the morning checking out the setup…it was incredible. The entire courtyard was transformed to prepare for the dinner and concert after the tournament. The lodge even allowed them to paint the pergola pink with ribbons! The clubhouse was packed with volunteers and all sorts of goodies that were donated for the raffle. Not to mention all of the golf carts that were loaded with donated gift bags for the golfers – over 240 golfers! The three of us got our steps in while we wandered around meeting tons of people and trying to take in all that was happening.
Eventually naptime came and Jacob slept for a while. Afterwards, we headed back out just in time to hear the band start practicing. We had the amazing opportunity to meet the Tobacco Road band (I was too star struck to think about taking a picture – eek!) and the bass player even let Jacob play with his bass! Jacob was dancing away out in the grass having an absolute ball listening to them while setting up. He also had a ball soon after that playing with the golf balls around the putting area. Little man had a blast with all the different colors and trying to carry them all at once.
After the tournament ended, dinner was served and we had the opportunity to chat with some of the men and women who made the event possible. The amazing sponsors who give their time, money and effort to help make this event – this organization – possible is heartwarming. There was a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle…all made possible from donations.
Oh, and there was a pink fire truck! Not only was it a pink fire truck but it was a pink fire truck that was signed by survivors! They offered for me to sign it and I couldn’t uncap that marker fast enough. What an honor it was, to write my name on that fire truck stating that I am a survivor.
Once Tobacco Road Band started playing, Jacob started showing his dance moves again. We sat and listened to them play for hours – they were awesome. Eventually little man was tuckered out and fell asleep while I rocked him outside of our room. The music continued to play and the stars shined brightly in the sky above us. It was beautiful.
And if that wasn’t enough…we were surprised with a visit from Fred Stokes! He offered to let me try on his Superbowl ring, which I couldn’t pass up. It was huge and gorgeous! Such an incredible feeling to wear that and meet him. He even signed a copy of his book for us and chatted with us for a while. So cool!
Soon after that, we met the owner of Bear Residential Construction, who was the title sponsor for the golf tournament. Aaron is one of the reasons this event is possible and it was an honor to meet him.
The entire weekend was beyond amazing. There were a lot of tears, a lot of laughs and just an overwhelming sense of belonging. These people, they do this out of the pure goodness of their hearts. They genuinely, sincerely care about helping families like mine that are impacted by breast cancer. They opened their arms and their hearts to us and we embraced them.
I think what amazes me most about this weekend is that despite how hard they were working – and they were busting their butts the entire time – they still went out of their way for us. They continued to surprise us with unexpected meetings and opportunities, on top of what was already a fabulous weekend getaway. Everything about this organization, and the people who are a part of it, makes my heart smile.
I am blessed to be a part of the Team Gina family.