I wanted to start this post off with a big heartfelt thank you to all of you who showered me with love yesterday on my birthday. I felt all your hearts, pouring through your words, boosting me, lifting me, putting an extra beat in my own heart. I couldn't ask for anything better, bigger. I feel blessed. And I'm still that girl looking over her shoulder wondering "who" that girl is who has been given such abundance. Plus- even thought we ended up at the clinic yesterday- ha- it was just to pick up my mother who needed a blood transfusion. No ER and no jinxes- just many birthday blessings.
Finally- are you ready for the big reveal of what left me speechless? Here goes...
I've heard this said about Cully's Kids' weekend several times over the last few days, "its my favorite weekend of the year!" I couldn't agree more. For so many reasons- do you have a few hours, a few days? Because I could tell story after story, and in fact, that is why it becomes nearly impossible to figure out a shortened version of what to say. But here I go...
The event kicked off with a social at Usher's and a silent and live auction. First of all, the items people and businesses donate to help raise funds for children with cancer and other diseases/disabilities, are so generous. That alone is a big draw. But second, just add in a few NHL hockey players to mix and mingle with the rest of the hockey community, and its a night of pure delight and entertainment. I think you truly have to go and experience it, to get the full effect.
I decided on using just my phone for photos, knowing the ambient light would be hard to compete with. So here are just a few photos I took of just some of the friends I am always honored to be around. These are my hockey family- and they do more for me than I could possibly express. I could have taken photos all night long.
Rick shot a cool photo outside of the Xcel Energy Center on the day of the playoff game we attended. He created a "painted" portrait and blew it up large and donated it to the auction.
The is one of our favorite shots of Matt warming up for a game. His eyes are lasered in on the puck, which he skillfully blasts to the back of the net.
But by now, we all know, Matt Cullen no longer plays for the Minnesota Wild. Matt Cullen will be playing for the Nashville Predators for the next two years!
So the Predator's sent the very first official Matt Cullen jersey to Minnesota to be auctioned off for the event. It was paired with tickets to a Predator game along with a bunch of extra perks and spiffs! The bidding started at a few thousand dollars and then steadily climbed. Finally, at 13,000 dollars, the package had been won!
The night was slowly winding down, and I have to admit, I was exhausted. As the event wound down we prepared to go.
Okay- for those of you awaiting the big news I have... here it comes.
So I am sitting at a table chowing down a burger, when my friend Bridget says, "I have to go get something, wait here, I'll be right back." Well I don't have my shoes on and I am in no hurry to go anywhere.
In minutes, at the top of the stairs I see Bridget returning with something yellow in her hands. Her smile is getting bigger and bigger and I swear she is trying to lock eyes with someone very close to me.
Quite suddenly, I realize, she is holding the new Predators Jersey. Oh my- some very lucky soul- sitting very close to me- is going to get her husband's first Predators jersey!!
And as I look all around me, Bridget's eyes don't waver from my own at all... because...
ITS ME! Totally me- who has been given the jersey by the man who paid for the package. His name is Dale. When he said to Matt, "who should we give the jersey to? Matt said "Vicky Westra." Oh my stars! And it took me 2.8 seconds I think, bare feet and probably ketchup still clinging to my face, to run upstairs and throw my arms around Dale. He quick- hugged me then shooed me off- obviously a very humble man.
My feet haven't quite come down to earth...
And this is just day one of three for the event... and I still have some pretty amazing things to share...