For the third year in a row, I was able to attend the annual Mama’s Night Out event put on by Cara Pearson and Michelle Riddle, two mama’s striving to make a difference in the world of pediatric cancer (you can read about their connection to pediatric cancer and, more specifically, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, HERE).
This year, I attended with two wonderful women in my life and my best friends; one of them is even an expecting mama herself and due mid June! The other is a little baby crazy, but will be a fantastic mother when that day comes – she claims her and her fiance will one day have a “baby farm!” Well, not seriously…but my point that she loves babies is made clearly with that comment. 🙂
Upon exiting left from the elevators the sound of wine glasses “clinking” together for a toast followed by the laughter of a group of women drifted down the hall. It was easy to get swept up by the beauty of the space: elegantly chic cocktail tables draped with beautiful silky white table cloths and accented with pink and orange table runners; matching pink and orange votives lighting up the smiling faces of women quite obviously enjoying their glass of complimentary wine over some long needed conversation amongst girlfriends; and buffet tables of everything from pan-seared polenta topped with fresh basil pesto by Teen Kitchen Project, to warm wood stove pizzas by Wood Fire Woodie, all to be finished off with a side of flourless chocolate cake by Chocolate and organic mouth-watering ice cream in portion-sizes from Mission Hill Creamery.
You become drawn in – with raffle tickets purchased, you peruse your options, sipping on a cocktail and browsing the vendor tables…even stopping for a photobooth shot or two – and you settle into the casual groove of the event, taking pictures with friends and making new acquaintances. Between the wine and the shopping and the music and the food, it is easy to forget the meaning behind the event. I wondered myself if everyone here felt the same way. It was at that perfect moment an announcement was made that a video would play in 10 minutes (to watch the video, click HERE).
I knew what the video was going to be about. I knew that this year, Cara and Michelle wanted to focus on a group of women they called “Warrior Mama’s.” And I knew that we would hear each of their stories. A wall of photos, available for viewing as you walked in, was dedicated to their stories and commemorated those who have battled and who are still battling childhood cancers.
Ten minutes later, I felt this…unexplainable feeling began to overwhelm each of my senses: my skin covered with goosebumps, anticipating the sad stories you might expect at a benefit for kids’ cancer;the tightening of my heart, as I urged to reach out and hug the mothers who have been through so much with their beautiful children; and my eyes eventually revealing small tears of sadness in reaction to the hopeful feeling I felt that maybe, just maybe, the money we raised between all 400+ women at this event would be enough to help fund research leading to a cure for for the child of one of the families represented and honored tonight.
As expected, the beautifully formatted video about the ten “Warrior Mamas” brought tears to everyone’s eyes. I broke away in search of a napkin or two to dry my face and saw the women around me all fixated on the video. Perfect, I thought to myself. The message is hitting home. I handed my friend the napkin. She was a blubbering mess. In this moment, the connection was made. I once again felt the connection to the cause and to the importance of bringing awareness to this issue.
We get so caught up in our everyday lives and the miniscule problems we encounter on a day to day basis, but it became clear almost instantaneously that these problems are infinitely inconsequential in comparison.I am so happy to have been connected to this cause over the past few years. Not to be too cliché, but it has helped me to refocus my attention on the things and people in my life that I love and care most about.
Mama’s Night Out grossed $50,000 this year!! This is the most money we have raised yet! Thank you to all of our sponsors and to the volunteers who made this all happen! If you did not have a chance to attend the event or donate to this cause, but would like more information on how to give, check out both Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and Jacob’s Heart to support childhood cancer awareness.