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The second annual Be Perfect Event was yet again a huge success. The night went amazing and had over 800 attendees. Prior to the event my dad and i never thought we would even have close to that amount due to the economy, however all you people stepped up and exceeded our expectations once again. The HafifFamily was nice enough to donate the beautiful Hafif estate venue for the second year in a row…PERFECT. The night consisted of a cocktail hour from 6 to 7:30 with a live band (Tequila Soul, My cousin Alex and his friend Matt) playing live music and an amazing silent auction with 230 items which were 100 percent donated. The program began at 7:45 with an invocation by Beth Bingham, a family friend, who reflected on our passed years accomplishments and my dear friend Courtney Francis Stewart who passed away on April 9, 2009 in a car accident along with Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and Henry Pearson and left fourth passenger John Wilhite in critical condition. Thanks Wilhite’s and Lay-Dixon-Stewart family for attending the event. The night went on with an amazing presentation from UCI Stem Cell Research Scientist Doctor Hans Keirsetad, on the ongoing improvements and advancements that he and other Scientist from UCI’s facility have made in Stem Cell research for SCI victims. He showed evidence to this procedure by showing videos of trials that were done on rats and were able to walk after due to this treatment…PERFECT. Eric Harness also gave a presentation of physical evidence through exercise based therapy that a client can improve their quality of life and their independence by going through Project Walk’s recovery program, which is a testament that miracles can happen and do happen there everyday. After a ten minute intermission the night continued with a little girl named Raven Hall and her dad Mark, as she sat on her dads lap, she told her and her dads story on how their family was affected by this injury that her dad sustained a year and a half ago, which brought the whole crowd to tears. Then came on of the most inspirational parts of the night where two of my SCI friends (Jordan Wilhelm and Arron Baker) both told their stories and gave inspirational messages about the ongoing repercussions of exercise based therapy as they both walked on and off the stage under their own will power with canes. Both were told they would never walk again…PERFECT. The program came to a close when I came up and gave an inspirational message about my journey and road to recovery throughout the passed year. I touched on friends, family, speaking engagements around the country the passed year, helping others, and ended with how our perception of life differs from everybody and what the true meaning of being perfect is, which is were my new slogan changing perceptions daily came from. The speech followed with an amazing video of me trying to leave my mark on society and people in the sci world the passed year and consisted of interviews from Casa Colina Phil Lorvorso, Claremont Club CEO Mike Alpert, my Psychiatrist Dr. Patterson and Ted Dardinski Founder of Project Walk and my therapist. The night ended with dancing, with hundreds that were at the event to the band LCR who in my book hit a home run…PERFECT. The night was perfect and the silent/live auction went extremely well as we raised over 260,000 dollars. You people are the reason this happened, the reason i get out of bed in the morning and the reason we will walk again. The third annual event is already being talked about and I will look forward to seeing you all again next year…and always remember BE PERFECT… I LOVE YOU COURTNEY. Thanks to my committee you are all perfect in my book I love you all
-Founder/President of Be Perfect Foundation
Lil Hal Hargrave