I feel like every year I truly do start my post event blog off this way by saying “wowwwwwwwww”. But it truly never has been more fitting and more true than after this year's event. I am left speechless in so many different ways after seeing, experience, executing, and being a part of one of the most special night of my life. The sixth annual fundraiser in my eyes was by far, and leaps and bounds the best event collectively that we have all ever assembled and created. As always, the local community, close family, friends, spinal cord injured friends and their families, all came together to support a cause that we all truly believe in. What all of you brought to the table was simply what I can Dean, a dream come true, a miracle, but at the same time what I have grown to expect of some of the most amazing people I have met on this journey. Every year, even though you guys have continued to set the bar high, and this isn't to say that I taken for granted, or even don't appreciate it, but you guys do exactly what I think you're going to do every year, and that is to simply leave me speechless, blown away, but also make all of you reliable to me that I know you will continue to come back, continue to support, and continue to change the lives of others like you all have continued to do. This year, was beyond special; from yet again another thousand people showing up, beautiful weather even though it scared us just hours before with possible rain even in the midst of this endless summer heat wave, over 100 volunteers from the La Verne baseball team, the La Verne football team, the Diamond Ranch baseball team, the Bloomington baseball team, Claremont club employees, and just close friends who all offered up their time and effort to make a beautiful night come to life. This type of help from all the volunteers and so many community members, created a night that was smooth flowing, effortless, and immaculate. Joe Johnson was able to orchestrate and guide our volunteers who using the tablets for both the silent auction and the bar throughout the night to create for a fun filled environment. Toni Fraizer assembled and created as she always does the best silent auction we've had in the first six years. Tom Cerafice and Doug Brooks got the night rolling up during cocktail hour with their hilarious and role-playing outfits of endless summer and truly bringing the beach theme to life by MC’ing and putting all the guest at ease as they walked in and bringing the life to the party. Laura and Mark Grochowski helped create a beautiful venue with some gorgeous decorations, and a beautiful backdrop on stage that was built from the ground up. Lydia Montano along with the help of her husband, daughter and son, truly put everybody at ease by doing his best job as they could with orchestrating all of the seating within the venue the night of the event, which took several man-hours in the months leading up to the event, and then beautiful photos taken by Justin Montano will help us remember the night. Another professional photographer, Mary Ellen helped capture the night in summary beautiful ways as many of you have probably already seen on Facebook. Teri Goodwin directed the best program that we have ever ran the night of any event, by keeping us all on task, on cue, and simply kept us in the places where we needed to be. Her husband Louis Goodwin did an incredible job with blessing the evening. The beautiful paintings that were created by Tom Clark throughout the night, as so many of us there had been treated to seeing in action for three events now, brought the night home after the program ended with an incredible live auction that brought nearly $40,000 to the foundation. Then there was the pit crew and summary of the unsung heroes off stage and behind the camera. Tony B, helped capture the night via video by filming and recording the entire night back in the pit and doing a great job with bringing a live feed up to the video monitors. Robert Melogoza who is an employee at my dad's office, offered up so much of his time to be such an integral part of running the program and using the video switcher throughout the program to keep our queues flowing properly. But what truly brought the program to life this year was the audiovisual and the huge help of both Jeremiah and Hunter Davis who created an orchestrated some of the best videos that attendees of the be perfect foundations annual event has ever seen. The stories video about trainer and client relationships, made it easy for attendees to relate to the special bonds that are formed in the therapy setting. The frames video that followed my speech, that was put together by Hunter and his team truly captured the essence of what my speech was about and how we can relate to our life as a photo album or pictures on the wall with various moments captured in time, and how these moments that we've captured in time are necessarily indicative of who we are as people, but they resemble a time in our life where we learn the lessons and it helped us become who we are today. We can either let these moments in time to find who we are, or we can use them as lessons learned. Then there was the “hey brother” video that Jeremiah created which showed my friends Missy, Blake, and Brian, and how their lives continued to go on beyond just the therapy setting, but merely in the midst of life they are continuing to do things that even able-bodied people would do. But the whole night culminated with Hunters video, which highlighted the night in its entirety in just 90 seconds. It was pretty unbelievable to think that Hunter was in the back editing this video as the night was going on and was able to show a finished product as the program ended. The aerial shots that were used from the drone that was flown overhead by my friend Jake Scott, truly captured some unique perspectives of the night that when the been captured without the drone. Jake Scott is a part of the Scott family who was always such a huge part and reason that the event is able to be such a success and we are so grateful for them, Richard, Tracy, Brittnee, and Jake. My aunt Deb, and David Bosson headed up the bars at the event, and truly put people at ease with a nice glass of wine or even a cocktail to help them relax and take in all the beautiful moments of the night. The whole entire Apex family, and all of my dad's employees, including my uncle Randy, cousin Ian, friend Jeremy Lay and everybody else who works so hard to pull time away from work to help out with the event, are some of the huge reasons that the night was so amazing. With the added addition of my friend RJ Maki, who is on board as an employee of my dad's business, but now most importantly the executive director of the foundation, was influential in many ways, with his new and fresh ideas, and new approach at social media and marketing, to truly take the foundation to the next level postevent, but also helps with bringing some new and fun aspects to the night like the exit box that you guys all received on your way out of the venue.
In my own eyes the comment the night and the program simply would not have been what it had been without some of our clients stepping up, like Chris Siebel and Stephanie Aiello, who are some new faces up on stage to help introduce videos, or even the likes of Jenna Hardy who is a trainer at Project Walk Claremont that give us all an update on a couple of her clients who are suffering from cancer. Our guest speaker for the night, Chris Simning is simply one of the most remarkable people that I've ever got to experience any sort of friendship with in my entire life. He was hilarious, witty, real, and heart wrenching with all of the great things that he had to say and share with all of us the night of the event and it simply was icing on the cake. The food of gourmet gourmet, was as always great. The visual effect from an incredible A/V team with all the people that are involved at Citrus College, brought great perspective to the night. And the dancing at the end of the night to “NIGHT SHIFT”, who were all college students at Citrus College, was honestly one of the best bands I've ever seen in person and was an absolute blast for everybody who stayed and danced. With so many people to be thanked for helping make the night happen, I couldn't go any farther without thinking my family, my mom and dad, my grandpa, and my grandmother who put in countless hours for months leading up to the event, whether it be registration, general event planning for both the program, silent auction, and all other entities of the event, they simply are some of the biggest doers and proactive people that I could ever surround myself with, and are the sole reason that my vision is able to come to life. I think it goes without saying that I could never fathom or even attempt to do this without them because it simply want to be possible and they are the ones you deserve the true credit. But when I look back on the night as a whole something continues to stand out to me. All of you, the donors, and the people who continue to support are the people who I hold most near and dear to my heart and people who literally bring me to tears whether you see it or not. To have another thousand people there this year, and to raise over $300,000 yet again, simply is a dream come true to put it most simply and clearly. Yet again you guys stepped up to the challenge and exceeded my expectations. With so many more people that I could possibly think individually, it could take the hours to explain my thanks to each and every one of you who helped out as a volunteer, as a supporter, and as a donor. I am forever grateful and appreciative and always remember that I love you all and I cannot wait to do it again next time in 2016. Make sure you all are ready because it will be the seventh inning stretch……….. Never forget to be perfect……..
P.S. Make sure to come and check out Project Walk Claremont's grand re-opening on Saturday, November 8 from nine to 12 o'clock in the morning.
Below are the links to all the videos that we shared with you guys the night of the event. So make sure to check them out and share them with your friends…..