I had no idea how much of a blast a fundraising event could be. I also had no idea how tired I would be! The goal to pull together a recap blog post the day after the Pints for Preemies event (Monday, June 4) sounded brilliant and manageable in those high adrenalin days before Tuesday morning! So, this day-late post is publishing later than expected but with no less gratitude.
The families, friends, board members, donors and sponsors that turned out made it an event to remember. Our NICU graduate – Abby Morrison – shared her success story. She is now an adult with her own baby on the way, but spoke about the impact the NICU stay had on her parents and, in time, on herself. Of course, as a 28-week baby, she doesn’t remember a moment of the many months she was there, but the experience resonated throughout her childhood. Abby is now working as a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Her work connects her with many children with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that often occurs following premature birth. In the company of these children, she realized she found her “tribe”, a preemie among preemies! She pays it forward with gratitude, sharing her own preemie experience as she works closely with families at Gillette.
The impact of a stay in a newborn intensive care unit is felt by so many. In addition to the baby or babies, parents and medical staff create an integrated team with the single goal of providing the best possible outcome. Minnesota Neonatal Foundation’s vision is to improve on the work being done by further promoting health and healing in the NICU. Although the Foundation is still in its own infancy, the support provided at events like Pints for Preemies have already provided programming, events and improvements to the NICU environments, creating a space of healing and comfort for families during a stressful time. Your donation helps us feed the heart, mind and spirit of NICU families and the medical staff to keep them strong.
In addition to our graduate speaker, Abby, Bill Arnold performed his unique blend of comedy and magic. His calm, smooth delivery was a non-stop barrage of really funny and “how did he do that?” moments. Giving the audience a peek behind the curtain to see how the trick worked often got an even bigger laugh than the trick, itself. Still can’t explain the ball on the nose, though…
The venue at Surly Brewery was beautiful, spacious, comfortable and had all the right things. The food and beverage team delivered flawlessly, serving up delicious appetizers and pouring pints at top speed! In addition to providing a place we could fit all those people and contain all that #WeLovePreemies energy, Surly provided an AV support person who was a dream come true! Kate helped us check sound, hook up mics, advise on lighting and was a confident expert in an unfamiliar space. Thank you to Surly for their support. Dear Reader – if you are in the Twin Cities area, don’t miss stopping by Surly Brewery for a pint and a great atmosphere with good friends.
Finally, I can’t thank enough the volunteers, board members and sponsors who made the event come together. It is humbling to see the talents, passion and energy that the volunteers bring to the Minneapolis Neonatal Foundation. They smiled throughout the event, keeping the train from going off the tracks and ensuring that my anxiety level was at a manageable level! Heroes.
The sponsors deserve an extra shout out, too. They share the vision of the Foundation and have shared considerable resources to help bring it to life. Please check them out online or give them a little love on Facebook!:
- Boyd’s Promotional Products
- Dan Gould Jewelers
- Dexter Design & Marketing
- Iron Tap
- Morrie’s Minnetonka Subaru
- Red Bench Bakery
- Tots & Tails Photography
To sum it all up, the village that made the Pints for Preemies event a success is exactly why I am driven to create and grow the Neonatal Foundation. It’s about purpose. Your energy, passion and joy feed both the Foundation coffers and my soul. It was a wonderful night that felt like family. Please stay in touch on this blog, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
I would be remiss not to ask, one more time, for a donation to the Minneapolis Neonatal Foundation. If direct donation isn’t in the cards for you, think about us next time you order on Amazon.com. We are on their Amazon Smile list of non-profit organizations and receive a contribution every time you order on Amazon Smile .