Tuesday, March 07, 2006The First Annual Playing For A Cure - Part 1
Dan and I traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to attend the First Annual Playing For A Cure, organized by Jamie Young. Jamie contacted me a while back and asked if she could give an award in Laurianne's name, and asked me what I would want to call the award. I talked with my parents and asked her if we could call it Laurianne's Hope. My parents and I agreed that it was a wonderful name, because of this blog, and because one day we hope to start an organization with the same name.
So, Dan and I began our travel to Memphis on March 3. We arrived at the hotel around 8:00 p.m. ET, which was only 7:00 p.m. in Memphis. We asked them for a 7:30 a.m. wake-up call, because I was trying to recall from memory that the event started at 9:00 a.m. It seemed like a good time and I didn't think it would take long to get ready at all. Well, the motel didn't give us our wake-up call. So we were up at 8:00 a.m. We hurried to get ready, and we still didn't arrive to the event until 10 a.m. It was really easy to find Wooddale Middle School though, and the cars and students were plentiful, which was a good sign.
I went up to one of the volunteers who was guarding the door to the auditorium and said, "Hi, can you tell me where I can find Jamie Young?" She said, "She is over there in the black suit." I asked, "With the green collar" and the nice volunteer said, "Yes, that's her." I later found out this was Jamie's mom. So I went up to Jamie and she knew who I was right away and enveloped me into a hug. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I made a neckalace for Jamie similiar to what I made for my mom and myself for Christmas. It is a lung cancer awarness charm which I put on a chain. (I later found out that she went to her sisters to have them help her put it on.) She introduced me to her right-hand woman, Cheryl, and said, "This is Laurianne's sister. Remember I was telling you about Laurianne." They asked if we needed any coffee. I sent Dan to the Hospitality Room to get a cup, because he only had one cup that morning, and I started taking pictures of the music stands. I found Laurianne's music stands right away. Yes, STANDS! They had my dad's writing on one stand, along with the Press Democrat article, "What do you mean she didn't smoke?". The next stand had my story. I noticed no pictures, and for some reason, I felt compelled to bring the picture of Laurianne from off my wall at work. I found Cheryl and asked her if I could put it on the stand. She thought that was a great idea, and she gave me some tape to put on the back of the picture. Since my dad did not really name Laurianne, I put it with Laurianne's story. Later, when I was showing Dan, I also noticed my blog entry, "Who Deserves Lung Cancer?" was on the next music stand. I started to read it and realized it was really familiar. Then I exclaimed "Hey, I wrote that!" Dan was pleased with me. When I mentioned it to Jamie, she said she really liked it and wanted to include as much as possible. Hey, it was fine with me! Just a plesant surprise.
Anyway, I sort of lost Dan and could not find the hospitality room. I went to the cafeteria and didn't see him. So I went to the auditorium. Since they were recording, you could not go in during a performance. They were going to be selling CD's of the various performances. The nice volunteer, who I still didn't know was Jamie's mom at the time, though the band we were looking at was Jamie's old band. I couldn't hear them that well, so I went to look for Dan again, and there he was crutching back from his coffee. He needed to wait for it to cool. So, we went into the auditorium. The bands were phenomonal! Every time there was an intermission, for the volunteers to prepare for the next band, I would go take pictures of the music stands. Then I found the jewerlry and T-shirts. And I started talking with the ladies there, and I found out that they were all Jamie's sisters! She has three of them. They were very nice also, and that is when I found out the volunteer who was letting me in and out of the auditorium all this time was Jamie's mom. They told me that Jamie has talked so much about my family and that we were such an inspiration. Which was funny because Jamie has been such an inspiration to us as well. I never thought of my family and I as being an inspiration. We are just doing what we can to raise awareness.
Well, I was going to go back to Dan and then another person asked me, "Are you Laurianne's sister?" I said "Yes." She introduced herself as Beth. Beth is also really nice. I recognized the look in her face -- the sad look of someone who lost someone really special. We talked for a little bit, but then her sons went exploring so she had to go and find them. I went back to Dan and he exclaimed, "You just missed the best one!" This happened twice in the morning. I was surprised at how involved Dan was getting because he can be so picky about music. He loved it!
Then it came time for the awards ceremony. Each trophy was donated for the event and they are for 1st through 4th divisions. The morning awards ceremony was for 1st and 2nd division. I was a little nervous about giving my speech because I hadn't really prepared anything. I decided to just speak from the heart. I got up there and after I talked about Laurianne and how much she loved music and that she was diagnosed at 25 years old, the kids cheered so loud. You can hear it on the video. I didn't even notice until a volunteer said something about it.
(Come back tomorrow for part 2 - The 3rd and 4th division)
Posted by Lynda :: 10:30 PM :: 0 people are more aware ---------------------------------------