Tuesday, September 30, 2008

*quick reminder*

We'll post more on the walk later today & tomorrow, but before we forget, on the heels of one event comes another! In just two weeks, on Saturday, October 11, at Family Church on west Kellogg in Wichita, we'll be hosting The Kyrie Foundation scrapbooking crop!



Saturday, October 11, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Family Church, 11135 W Kellogg Wichita, KS

For those of you new to the idea of a crop, it's simply a big chunk of time and a comfortable place to bring those scrapbooking supplies and photos (or any other project you've started) and make some creative progress while chatting with your girlfriends, making new friends and swapping crafting tips. You can stay for as little or as long as you want! Maybe you have a friend that couldn't make the walk; bring her along to the crop! This is the perfect place to work on any Christmas cards, Thanksgiving invitations, Halloween treat sacks, scrapbook layouts, brag books, holiday decorations or handmade holiday gifts & tags.

If you're a newbie to paper crafting, come anyway! We'll have a shared tool station with paper punches, stamping inks and an electronic die cutting machine to make all sort of shapes & letters! Plus, I'll teach you everything I know. ;) There will also be experts on hand from ScrapFunAttic who know much more than I do, and remember: scrappers are really, really, really nice people.

And boy howdy, is this a great deal! Just $40 for the whole day and that includes lunch from Jason's Deli and a delish dinner. Plus--get this--a goodie bag that's loaded! There will be at least $20 worth of freebies in this little sack, like specialty 12x12 papers, designer stickers, Martha Stewart idea sheets, Making Memories measurement rulers, Glue Dots and more!

And if that weren't enough, we have a few surprises, too, as well as a ton of super-fab prizes in our raffle, like a high-end scrapbook prizes from K&Company, Inkadinkadoo stamp & ink sets, Amy Butler Creativity Bags and the grand prize: an amazing (and expensive) true-color OTT-Lite lamp!

There will be a free-will donation massage therapist on hand to work out any kinks, too. Love that!

Thanks to our generous friends at Scrappin' Boot Camp, you can register and pay online with your credit card at Scrappin’ Boot Camp! You can also order a specially designed shirt for this event there, too.

If you'd rather pay by cash or check, simply e-mail Christy Freeman at christycmc@sktc.net. If you'd like to be there, we really need you e-mail Christy ASAP because seats are limited!

Special thanks to:
ScrapFunAttic
Scrappin' Boot Camp
Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine
Glue Dots
Karen Foster Design
Making Memories
McGill
OTT-Lite
Sakura
EK Success
K&Company

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wow.

We are all still reeling, still in awe, of the magnitude and success of Saturday night. As part of the event team, from our perspective, the evening couldn't have been any more perfect. The weather made for a beautiful Kansas sunset hour, so many families came to have fun together, our volunteers were AMAZING and thanks to our incredibly generous sponsors and attendees, we exceeded our financial goal!

There are so many people to to thank, like Keri Breeding who is due to birth her third child in the next 10 days who headed our registration all night long, like Todd Pauly who was our grill master extraordinaire, like our Snack Shack crew who doled out the water like crazy, like Travis Rink who emceed the entire event, like the Friend family who donated generously on all fronts: financially, time-wise and with those homemade desserts!, like Jo Degner who womaned our super-fab silent auction, like Bill with Accent Mobile Music who donated his entire evening, like our stellar game volunteers and the massage therapists from Heritage College and Dorothy and her special friends! The sheer amount of goodness pouring from so many different sources was awesome to behold. Many more thanks to come in the following days.

We chose to create this kind of event for many reasons, like this:
So that friends could come together as family.

And this,
So that parents & kids could have fun together in a good, safe place.

And this,
So that a devoted grandpa could make sweet & perfect memories with his adoring granddaughter.

And so that Kyrie's family,


and Anna's family

know that we are one day closer to a cure for every child diagnosed with a brain tumor. The Wilkinson family was our special guest for the Twilight Walk. Their four-year-old daughter is a true fighter--she is why we're in this battle alongside her--so that she and her family get to have a full lifetime of moments & memories.

We'll post more great photos soon! Until then, know that you all made good happen this weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Hey all. Just a reminder that online registration for the Twilight Walk CLOSES tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. If you want to ensure correct t-shirt sizes and have a speedy, quick registration process, please go online and pre-register. If you're unable to do so, we will still be elated to have you join us! We are so excited to see everyone tomorrow night. The air is ELECTRIC!



Also, if you happen to be listening to the radio on your commute home today, please tune in to KFDI, Kyrie's mom and dad and her Aunt Megan are special guests today between 3:30 - 5 p.m. VERY EXCITING!



See you all tomorrow!

Big Love,

Melissa

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Well, my dear friend Megan called me a bit ago as she trekked southwest and asked me to be a guest blogger today. I'm not going to lie, my first reaction was, "NO WAY!" What a lot of pressure this is! My friend Megan is quite possibly one of the most talented writers ever. She can take a pile of words and bend them ever so gently into a wonderful group of phrases. I'm not so gifted this way, but I'll give it a whirl.

So, I sit here trying to pinpoint exactly what I'm thankful for...it's simply an impossible task. I am so blessed. I have healthy children, a husband who adores me, friends I've known literally since birth and new friends who I love dearly, both of whom are always there, talents and hobbies that bring me joy and a deep, abiding faith that gets me through all of life's ups and downs. I am blessed tenfold in my involvement with the Kyrie Foundation. My life has taken many twists and turns, and I fully believe that they all led me to Kyrie and her legacy. The friends I've made, the people I've met, the experiences I've had and the lessons I've learned in the last year and a half overwhelm and astound me. I have learned that you don't take moments or people for granted, giving and "doing good" are SO much better than getting and having good done for you. And most importantly, just like a little guy named David and a big 'ol guy named Goliath, when faced with a giant, you whirl a big 'ol stone at it. You don't just stand there trembling, scared and feeling sorry for yourself. You get up and let that giant know that deep down, inside your very being lies a giant much bigger that he. That's what the Kyrie Foundation is all about. We're whirling that stone in the form of a research grant. We are standing up to the giant that is named Pediatric Brain Cancer. So, many of you have helped us. So many of you have prayed, given of your time and money, sent words of encouragement, and joined our team of volunteers.

This weekend, we ask you to again stand with us. Join us at the 1st Annual Kyrie Foundation Twilight Walk. Come with your heart open and be blessed. The weatherman promises a gorgeous Kansas evening, the kind that makes you proud to call the plains home. Stand with us, that's all we ask. I think that when you do, you too will find yourself so abundantly blessed that you will find it hard to pinpoint just one blessing among many.

Big Love,
Melissa

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And the winner is ...

ksfaith!!!!!

A highly scientific drawing conducted by Chad, involving names put into a ceramic cup and one being hand-chosen as the winner, yielded our very first cookbook prize person! Congrats and happy cooking!

ksfaith, just e-mail me your address, and we'll get this to you pronto.

A big thank you to all those who left comments, too. Your participation here means more than you know. And we hope that some of you will get to meet each other this weekend. How cool is that?

Thank you A-1 Singer Sewing! Thank you Pratt Industries!

A-1 Singer Sewing & Pratt Industries have been wonderfully supportive of Kyries, Kyrie's parents and the launch of the foundation.

A-1 Singer Sewing is a fantastic spot for quilters, sewing fans and those who love embroidery (like me!). When Kyrie was going through chemo, A-1 Singer Sewing graciously provided an air purifier for Jordan & Lacie's home--a blessing when the tiniest germ was deadly. They sell tons of "notions" as those fabric-savvy people call them as well as hi-tech, digital sewing machines and those wonderful air purifiers.

Pratt Industries
was not only supportive when Jordan needed to be home with his daughter, but the workers in the Wichita plant have also been supportive and interested in the development of the foundation--especially when manly man Jordan wears his brown Kyrie t-shirt with that beautiful pink heart. Pratt Industries is a company that cares about the environment, too. They make boxes for the products that you buy from store shelves, and they make those boxes from 100% recycled post-consumer waste. Fantastic! If you visit their web site you can see how many trees that's saved as well as the saved water and landfill space saved. So good.

A-1 Singer Sewing and Pratt Industries are silver sponsors for the Twilight Walk. We thank each of you for caring about this little family from Kansas and what they will mean in the fight against cancer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thank you Art's & Mary's! Thank you Moonwalks for Fun!

Always been a big fan of the retro-styled packaging of Art's & Mary's Homestyle Tater Chips. Plus I like that they use the word "tater" and that their product is all natural. No weird preservatives or funky additives. So there are plenty of reasons why we've been eating these tasty chips with a good amount of fervor for the last two months.



And every time I see Art's & Mary's in a little deli or sandwich shop, I always tell the personnel how great these crispy, crunchy slices of flavor are. The Mixx, for example, is a fabu soup/salad/sandwich by the Kansas City public library on the Plaza. They know how glad I am that they chose to sell good, ol' Art's & Mary's.

And who knew that contained air could be so much fun?! We love that Moonwalks for Fun offers kids (and some kid-like adults) such pure FUN! Try not smiling when you're bouncing around in a moonwalk--it's impossible! Safer than a trampoline, bopping around in a moonwalk is still one of my favorite childhood memories. Jumping is an activity that deserves more accolades, don't you think? ;)

Art's & Mary's Homestyle Tater Chips and Moonwalks for Fun are silver sponsors for the Twilight Walk. We thank you for bringing such fun & goodness to this event!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Attention bidders!

The silent auction portion of the walk looks is pretty fantastic! There's a little something for everyone, whether you're into crafts, sports, gardening, spa treaments--you name it! Here are a few inside peeks to whet your whistle:

WSU signed basketball + tickets
KSU signed items
KU signed items
KC Chiefs men's polo
Wichita Wingnuts tickets
Wichita Thunder tickets
Sedgwick County Zoo passes
Tangayika Wildlife Park passes
Salon gift baskets
Massage gift certificates
Handcarved Canadian goose
Handmade quilt
Handmade artisan gifts
K&Company scrapbooking basket
Custom limestone posts
Garden tool cabinet
Decorative glass art
Beautiful glass vase
Jim Shore muscial Santa
Gift certificates for Scotch & Sirloin, Texas Roadhouse, Fox & Hound
and much more!

What a way to start your Christmas shopping, eh?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A truckload of thanks.

We have a whole slew of wonderful people to thank for sponsoring the Twilight Walk! And as I've often said, business is never just business. All business is about people. With that in mind, we know that the people behind these businesses make our sponsors more than just storefronts, more than just an exchange of goods & services. These are the people and the businesses that have won my patronage. I hope, if you have a choice, that you'll choose to patron these, too.

Dr. David Rosen, Kyrie's oncologist and medical advisor through our saga.

First State Bank & Trust, the bank that hosted Kyrie's medical fund, and also the place where Chad & I took over $500-worth of change to add to that fund. The pennies were so heavy that one of the plastic bags broke outside the front door--in the rain. A very helpful and rainproof cashier came out to help us pick up the coins one by one.

Heartland Veterinary Services, the best large-animal vet around in my opinion. Perhaps the original cow whisperer.

Kanza Bank, named for the Kanza tribe that lived on the Great Plains, this family-owned bank has been in business for over 100 years.

Kruse Corporation, the premier sheet metal, HVAC, plumbing and architectural & custom sheet metal designers in the area. The best of form & function!

Lanetz Living, a wonderfully curious online store that sells vintage, out-of-print and retro sewing patterns. Fabulous with emphasis on the "fab!" part!

Mize Thriftway, the family-run grocery store in Clearwater where the donuts are perfectly glazed, and the baggers are the best.

Dr. Rosen, First State Bank & Trust, Heartland Veterinary Services, Kanza Bank, Kruse Corporation, Lanetz Living and Mize Thriftway are bronze sponsors for the Twilight Walk. We thank you for being so much more than the average business.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cookbook Giveaway

We just received The Kyrie Foundation cookbooks late last week, and they are already a hot commodity!



To celebrate, we're giving away one cookbook to a very lucky blog commentator. Simply leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered into our drawing. We'll leave the comments open on this post for a week, and we'll announce the winner next Wednesday. That means you have until Tuesday, September 23 11:59 p.m. to leave a comment. And no matter where you are in the world, if you're the winner, we'll ship your prize right to your door!

The book features nearly 150 pages packed full of family favs and some fun new dishes to try. Plus, it include a great introduction about Kyrie and her story, which has become our story.



Cookbooks will be for $15 sale in the Style Shop at the Twilight Walk, too--a bonus to all of you walk attendees! Then they will be available for purchase through our Web site (+a bit of shipping).

We welcome all new commentators, and of course, our loyal digital friends, too. Happy commenting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thank you Wichita BabyFare!

We had a stellar weekend as the Wichita BabyFare's charity sponsor! Over 1,000 people popped by (despite the flooding on Friday night & Saturday morning) and we made a ton of new friends.



We presented the keynote address on Saturday morning and invited Kyrie's oncologist, Dr. David Rosen, to speak on the signs of a brain tumor and the importance of research.



Terry, our Bead Queen, arrived to help! And ... we unveiled a new bracelet for the BabyFare: little expandable baby bracelets. A hot item!



Several people commented that they had heard about the Twilight Walk or they had read about the foundation in Splurge! magazine.



New volunteers also offered to help The Kyrie Foundation--much needed and ALWAYS appreciated.



We even made a new friend with the booth next to us: BabyWaves, a great place to get those amazing 3-D ultrasounds when you're expecting. Thanks for everything, Shawn!

It was great to meet so many new faces who agree that something has to be done to save these children & their families. Thank you to everyone that stopped by to meet & greet! Stay tuned--there's more great moments coming!

Speaking of staying tuned, you'll want to check back tomorrow for something kind of fun just for Kyrie blog readers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 2008 issue of Splurge!

If you were at Larry Bud's last month for our Splurge!-sponsored fundraiser, you might be featured this month among their photo faces! Check out pages 108 & 109!

p.s.
Hope to see you this weekend at the BabyFare! We'll be taking the stage around 11 a.m. on Saturday to talk about the foundation and to introduce Dr. Rosen, Kyrie's oncologist, who is also speaking on the importance of pediatric brain cancer research!



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the right words coming at the right time. Don't you love that? Don't you love it when you get just what you need without even knowing that it was on its way to you?

I'm thankful for these words from Kyrie's friend, Melissa, to all of us who are fighting cancer.

We are fighting this thing with all we've got. So, that's why we ask for someone to donate, and we do it without shame. That's why we keep asking...even when we are told "no" over and over again. That's why we sit in the rain and cold with wet socks for 12 hours...just to spread the news, just so that maybe ONE person will get on board and help us fight. That's why we spend COUNTLESS hours coming up with ideas and bringing them to fruition. That's why we wear our shirts, bracelets, bumper stickers. That's why we travel miles and spend precious weekends at events. That's why we make sacrifices, willingly, joyfully, lovingly...we do it because if we don't stand up to this monster, who will? ... Know that every moment of stress, exhaustion, excitement, hope, disappointment, failure, joy, sorrow, anxiety, success...every moment gets us all one step closer. We are all a HUGE part of this beginning of the end. Someday...someday soon. We are ALL going to stand at that finish line together. I firmly believe that when we do, a sweet little angelic butterfly will be right there with us, saying, "Thank you and well done."


What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Come see us again this weekend!


This time at the Wichita BabyFare at Century II Convention Hall! We'll be there with our Kyrie t-shirts, specialty bracelets and perhaps even our new cookbooks!

And we'll also be delivering a speaker message about Kyrie & the foundation as well as introducing Kyrie's oncologist, Dr. Rosen, for his keynote lecture on the need for pediatric brain cancer research.

Big stuff. Big hearts. And hopefully a big turnout!

You may have heard the radio spots for the BabyFare on Wichita's local radio stations, like B98 and 96.3 or 102.1. Or maybe you've seen a TV ad for the event on KAKE Channel 10? We hope you'll stop by-- loads of fun stuff there, like a Diaper Derby and fashions shows. Even a "Daddy Lounge!"

September 13-14, 2008
Century II Convention Hall
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
$5 per person, children 5 & under are free!

And a big thank you to all of those who stopped by last weekend to say hello during the chilly & rainy Fall Festival!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Local Celeb #1 at the Twilight Walk!

You may know her as the Easter Bunny here on Kyrie's blog--the same Easter Bunny who for 22 years has been the guest of honor at Clearwater's annual Easter Egg Hunt. Or you may know her as Frosty, the Snowperson from last year's benevolent visit to Wesley Hospital--the same Frosty who since 1987 has kicked off "Christmas Begins in Clearwater" every December. Gifted in so many ways, Susan Jae Eckel will also be making a guest appearance at the Twilight Walk for all your munchkins as The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy!

Born & raised just 6 miles north of Clearwater, where she was the only child of Buster & Jacke Eckel, Susan was our next-door neighbor and even babysat little me and little Jordan! She also went to high school with Kurt Layton (Local Celeb #2 for the Twilight Walk) where they became friends and participated in the CHS Madrigals singing group together.

And she is also an expert when it comes to the Land of Oz. Just look at these Susan Jae factoids:

+has an OZ-some "Wizard of Oz" collection that first started with an Oz music box from her Grandma Milly when she was just a little girl.

+hosted "Wizard of Oz" trivia for MdCV Middle School kids in Quenemo, KS every Kansas Day for 9 years.

+went to the world's largest Oz-Fest in Chesterton,Indiana ... along with 80,000 other Oz lovers.

+has met, visited and dined with several of the original munchkins at two Oz-Fests in Liberal & Wamego, Kansas.

+had her picture taken with 5 of the original Munchkins … as herself AND in her "Dorothy" outfit. Autographs, too!

She also truly believes in the life lessons featured of the "Wizard of Oz " story. "You meet a diverse group of friends along your own personal 'yellow brick road.' These friends all fulfill different roles in your life and help you along your journey. Just always remember there's no place like home."

Me, too, Susan. ;)

Can't wait for your wee ones to meet her in a few weeks!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer.

Tonight all the major television networks aired a one-hour telethon to raise money for cancer research. Studded with celebs, it was still pretty amazing that NBC, ABC & CBS would all work together for something so important.

Not sure if you caught the portion where they mentioned children's brain tumors. They profiled an 11-year-old battling a medulloblastoma, one of the most common forms of pediatric brain tumors. They also mentioned the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. Last year this time, The Kyrie Foundation was in contact with the PBTC, working on a way to fund their research through our fundraising efforts. Today, we're proud to say that we get to do just that and fund ANY OTHER pediatric brain cancer research in the country through our alignment with the Pedicatrc Brain Tumor Foundation in North Carolina. That's the most brilliant part of The Kyrie Foundation Research Grant: it's not just for one hospital's work or one group's emphasis in a particular year. It's open to any research team in the country from any worthwhile entity, like PBTC or St. Jude's or Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. We want to award this grant each year to the team with the most worthwhile prosposal no matter where they are from.

Knowing that we are a part of this crusade for a cure, you & me right here, electrifies the air, doesn't it? So good.

The Kyrie Foundation at the Fall Festival!

Hey! If you're looking for some ol' fashioned, small-town fun, head to Clearwater's Fall Festival tonight/tomorrow where The Kyrie Foundation will have a booth! I've been told that we have an outdoor booth in a high-traffic area, so keep your eyes peeled. We'll have our bracelets & tees there for sale, and you can get a sneak peek at the upcoming cookbook! And ... you can also register for the Twilight Walk and the Krop at our booth, too!

We'd love for you to come by & say hi, especially if you'll be at the Fall Festival anyway.

Next weekend? The Wichita BabyFare!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday.

Today I'm thankful for tipping points. Inner change is a funny thing, and quite frankly, somewhat of miracle, isn't it? We are creatures of habit after all, and years of same thinking or same doing without that Socratic "self analysis" can make for a pretty stubborn, stale state of being.

So what is it that brings about change? And not just change for change's sake. I mean improvement, reform, betterment. What compels you to DO something outside the normal routines? Conscience? Guilt? Joy? Satisfaction? Or could it be the idea that momentum builds in us to a point where we can't make excuses any more. We can't deny that improvement is also known as "making the world a better place," which connects us to our purpose here. I'm so thankful when something good matters to someone. I'm thankful when people get inspired and make improvements. I'm thankful for the moments when we "get it."

I'm also thankful for friends along the way that help build the momentum toward a tipping point. Thank you Way-FM for creating a momentum builder! (If you haven't heard the radio spot yet, here's your chance!)

video

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thank you USD 264.

Through the years, I have met plenty of different kinds of people educated through a variety of school systems. By & large, the majority complain, no matter if it was parochial school, an edgy urban public school, a wealthy suburban public school or even those home schooled. The teachers, the lunches, the classmates, the sports--one thing or another was unsatisfactory. I, however, am always really proud when I share my experiences. From kindergarten through senior graduation, USD 264 filled my brain cells and guided my social development. For that, I am extremely grateful.

We didn't have a swim team or a tennis squad, and we certainly did not have a winning football team, but we did have a nifty elementary school librarian, Ms. Walker, who would let me check out Laura Ingalls Wilder books before I was really old enough. And in fourth grade, we had teachers who rewarded us with scratch-n-sniff stickers & popcorn parties. We walked from the grade school to the middle school theater for magnificent marionette shows, which is where I first learned about Rip Van Winkle. We had talented high school music concerts and plays that packed 'em in. We had playground equipment that was always well kept. We had a bevy of school buses that would drive through blizzards and hail on washboard roads to bring me and my friends to a warm classrooms (Thank you, Bus #10 driver June Finney!). We had a jazz band in high school that totally rocked, and college prep courses that helped me achieve my bachelor's degree on schedule. We had school principals that would hold frequent pep rallies and tell us how important it was to have school pride and eventually ... to tell us not to drink & drive (Thank you, Mr. January, Mr Riggs, Mr. Pate & Mr. Pauly!). We even had really sweet & beautiful proms.

And there are days when, if I think about it enough, I can still smell those freshly baked homestyle rolls. I LOVED our lunches. Healthy and well-rounded, we weren't bombarded with junky, trendy choices. We had the real deal, like chicken-fried steak and chili and ham & cheese sandwiches and chopped salad (still my fav way to get it) and Frito pie and pizza boats and crispitos and buttered corn and peach cobbler and green beans and ... those cinnamon rolls! Oh, man. You could smell the sugary white glaze and the yeasty dough the moment you walked into the school. Thank you Mary Alice Sperry!

And USD 264 is still offering itself to me today. It will be on the Clearwater Middle School track--the place where I first learned about sprints and spikes and nearly keeled over after my first mile-long run--where we'll all share a few steps together to honor children who have fought for their lives. Schools, fundamentally, are all about shaping and developing children's brains. It's only fitting that here is where we begin to save them, too.

USD 264 is a gold sponsor for the Twilight Walk. We thank you collectively as an organization, we thank you as a community and I thank you personally for making a place for us.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Number 3.

Happy 3rd birthday, Kyrie! We love you & miss you so much. All of our hard work this month is dedicated to you, sweetie, and know that no one has forgotten you.

{For all of our dear readers, if you have something kind & good in mind to do for someone, today would be a great day to do it! Also, if you've been waiting to register for the Twilight Walk, I can think of no better day than today to do just that! You can register online right here.}