Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ethan's birthday!

If you or anyone you know will be in Omaha, Nebraska or Council Bluffs, Iowa tomorrow night, please come celebrate Ethan's birthday with his family at Thunderbowl!

As loyal readers here may remember, Ethan was an incredible little boy who was diagnosed in May 1999 and survived for years with the same kind of brain cancer that Kyrie had thanks to the diligence and love from his mom, Marcy, dad, Tracy, and sister, Asia. In fact, when he was first diagnosed many years ago before there was any sort of direction for PNET protocol, one of the treatments resulted in Ethan fighting leukemia as well as PNET. Easy to understand why he quickly earned the nickname "Superboy."

Ethan loved the Iowa Hawkeyes and baseball and video games and miraculously celebrated his 14th birthday this time last year. However, after hundreds of tough days and miraculous moments, after millions of prayers from family & friends, in March of this year, the angels came to take Ethan home.

Tomorrow night on Ethan's 15th birthday, his family is inviting you to celebrate God's gift of Ethan, and we're asking you to honor the incredible courage of his family who are continuing his fight with this fundraiser.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
1900 Madison Avenue
Council Bluffs, IA

$15 per individual/$40 for families
Even if you're not a bowler, just come join us for the celebration!

Proceeds from tomorrow night's event will benefit:

CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation, striving to give each child diagnosed with a cancer a whole lifetime of dreams and milestones to celebrate. The death of one more child to cancer is too many! www.curesearch.org


The Kyrie Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors. The foundation was established by the courageous parents of Kyrie Thome who earned her wings after a heroic battle with a PNET brain tumor.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the wonder of miracles great and small.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The photos say it all.

Sweet, little Anna and her family were at Wesley yesterday evening, too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

News at 10!

Just got word that the trip to Wesley tonight was incredible! And ... you can see a piece of it tonight on KAKE Channel 10! Frosty & Elf Rita's trip to Wesley's pediatric floor to deliver gifts & good cheer was captured for a piece on the 10 o'clock news. Not sure if they'll post the video on their site for us out-of-towners, but perhaps we'll see a blurb on in tomorrow.

Fantastic work Frosty, Elf Rita and friends! More to come tomorrow.

Go, sweet Kyrie, go!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The heft of the season ...

For all the merrymaking and joy that is standard issue this time of year, there are just as many, if not more, heartbreaking situations that simultaneously exist. And how can that be? Shouldn't Christmas joy erase sadness? Shouldn't faith manifest jobs to the jobless and healing to the sick? Shouldn't Christmas snow baptize the world anew?

In a fallen world, Santa's bag is a mixed one. We are able to be joyous for a new child, feel guilt for that joy because of another child's loss, feel confused over that emotional duality and then despair over the discomfort of those simultaneous, irresolvable feelings. Merry Christmas.

There are no easy answers. Perhaps no real answers at all. There are two ideas, however, that may give respite in this season's bumpy ride.

1) do the best you can. give what you can, even if that means giving the benefit of the doubt. be better to one another. help where you can. look for those "opportunities" we mentioned yesterday. doing good creates the stepping stones upon which we can cross the raging river.

2) this is not the end. we are not in charge. we can only do our best (see idea #1).

Just a few thoughts that came as a result from a comment that Frosty sent to yesterday's post. Perhaps you can relate ...

I am thankful for those "emotional tears" that instantly come to your eyes. When something NOT tragic or sad or hurtful happens but that are all of a sudden in your eyes when a happy and surprising and touching thing happens.

Right now I have friends and family, here and there, that have some personal struggles. Some are without a job in this unknowing economy. Others are currently dealing with loved ones who are fighting cancer. A coworker whose father-in-law has just passed away. One who needs to sell her home. Another trying to help her son stay in college. My young cousin who is struggling with a mental disorder. A friend's mother who is showing signs of aging. A girlfriend's nephew who is the victim of an unsolved death. Another friend trying to cope with missing an alcoholic ex. And me, learning through a daily blog of a friend's family, that is starting the long road of chemo and radiation on their 3-year-old daughter.

ALL of these struggles and heartaches continue on. No matter that Christmas is coming. No matter that this is supposed to be "Tis the season …" Everyone has to go on. Cope. Deal with. Live.

And then THOSE "emotional tears" come to my eyes because…

I open an envelope from a friend with a check for $100.00 to put towards our "Frosty & Friends visit to Wesley Hospital Pediatric Floor". I go home and there on my front porch among a dusting of snow, is a brown paper wrapped box from an Aunt Megan FILLED with goodies for our trek on Monday nite,and an oh-so-sweet note of appreciation. A friend who I know is running a bit short on funds right now, slips me $10.00. My mom & dad seem to bring "just a little something for your hospital kids"… a shopping bag with this-and-that in it every time I've seen them this past month. A gift card arrives from an aunt whose very own niece is getting ready for that long road of chemo and radiation that I talked about. A coworker shares our hospital journey with her best friend and her best friend tells that story to her mom and her mom passes it on to her grandma and….viola'…I have 35 homemade/quilted baby blankets to take with me. I'm heard talking about "Frosty & Elf Rita" at work, and the next thing I know, I have a company check in hand.

THESE are the "emotional tears" that I am thankful for and the kind souls that despite what they are going thru have given and given and given. Yup … these are good tears.

Watch out, a warm heart may just melt ol' Frosty!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for opportunities.

I'm thankful when the right people and the right time comes together. We had a great meeting with the social workers at Children's Mercy hospital last week. This facility and these people are truly incredible. I am keenly aware that it takes very special individuals to genuinely care about sick children and their families while at the same time be composed enough so that they can do their jobs without becoming puddles of mush on the floor, like I would be. Our hope with Children's Mercy and with all hospitals who treat pediatric brain cancer patients is that The Kyrie Foundation is a resource for these families. So far for 2009, we're right on course. I'm so thankful for that.

And like Frosty & Friends coming together with the families at Wesley next Monday. What a fantastic example of turning an opportunity into something REAL, something MEANINGFUL to others.

Although, sometimes we don't always recognize "opportunities" as such, do we? Lament, grief, doubt, pain, fear, wrath and excuses blind us from imagining what's possible with with the present. Exasperating, isn't it? There's a scene in The Count of Monte Cristo by A. Dumas that I remember when trying to find a silver lining in an ominous storm front. The protagonist, Edmond, is wrongfully incarcerated in the sinister Chateau d'If where a fellow prisoner and wise scholar, Priest, counsels Edmond on his discouragement and frustration. As prisoners, they are neglected & isolated in their own mire, fed once a day through a tiny open-&-shut window, which stifles obvious opportunities for escape. Priest tell Edmond, "then neglect will be our ally." Love that. Taking that which is meant to be punishment and making it a resource, an opportunity.

Hope you are able to spot an unexpected opportunity this last week of Advent.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, December 15, 2008


Today is the big day for all toys, games, giftcards + donations to be in the hands of Frosty & Friends! They'll spend this week sorting & filling in gaps for their big trip NEXT MONDAY NIGHT! Woo-hoo!

We've been getting updates from Frosty about the nifty gifts that have arrived from you in the past week or so. Thank you for thinking of these children and their families. A hospital room is probably the last place any of us would want to spend the holiday season. While everyone else is shopping, wrapping, baking and merrymaking, these parents are hoping & praying for their child to be well, such a simple desire that we, the healthy, can so easily overlook. Often times, mom or dad has to be away from work or quit altogether to take care of a sick child, which equally makes necessities and Christmas gifts financially stressful. For these reasons and a hundred more, we thank Frosty & Friends for their generosity.

Another little note from Frosty:

We went to a little monthly party Friday night and the organizers were kind enough to put on their flier that we were collecting toys/etc. for Frosty & Friends. LOOK!! We got lots of neat-o treasurers!! AND some cash!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Generosity Status Report

A friend of Kyrie's had a great idea! She suggested that in the Christmas cards or New Year's cards that you send out to family & friends, maybe you could enclose a little insert about your connection to The Kyrie Foundation. And right now awareness and word-of-mouth are fabulous gifts to the foundation! So if you'd like to include a little note in yours, you can pull this onto your desktop, duplicate and print this little insert:

And we have sweet status note from Frosty:

Last night we rented a trolley and did the Christmas Light Tour around Wichita with my folks and 25 of our friends!

Had many friends that thought to bring us checks and even a couple of stuffed animals ... ALL for the kids at Wesley Hospital!

Amazing with the economic state of our country and community that people still want to do and DO do ... good.

How cool is that?!?!?! There's still time to make a donation, too! Just have 'em in by Monday, December 15 to:

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the ability to connect. Over the course of 2008, as a family, as a foundation and as individuals, we have marveled at the incredible connections that Kyrie has provided for all of us. New support seems to come from thin air. Volunteers introduce themselves and willingly make themselves available to the foundation's needs. Positive feedback floats like springtime dandelion seeds. We have had people who offer to make bracelets and bake butterfly cookies and host office fundraisers--all on their own accord, their own ideas! Incredible! Yes, it certainly has been a productive year for establishing the roots of something mighty.

I'm thankful for the connection we have with each one of you. Like an electric current, each of you keeps this ethereal power flowing. I'm thankful for being tethered to you who make us a network to protect & preserve families. I'm thankful for your willingness and want to be connected to us and to Kyrie.

What are you thankful for today?

a quick reminder: Frosty and Friends would appreciate any toy, giftcard or cash contributions by this coming Monday, December 15 to prepare for their visit to Wesley Hospital on December 22!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just a little reminder.

Chad & I have completed some of our holiday shopping using iGive & Goodshop. We love this! Not only do we score some great online shopping deals, but we don't have to stand in line, find a parking spot, fight the crowds, etc. Lots of online stores offer free shipping, too, so you don't even have to get out, and best of all, a portion of what you spend goes to The Kyrie Foundation at no cost to you.

This is particularly great if you're making an electronics purchases, buying gift cards or even booking holiday travel. And may we suggest that when you're ready to make purchases in 2009 with the gift cards your recieve this holiday season, consider using iGive & Goodshop, if you spend those giftcards online. Again, it's completely free. You shop exactly as you would otherwise.

There's still time to do some online shopping, too, as well as purchase foundation merchandise for Christmas gifts. If you're looking for something meaningful to give, something for your mom, grandma, friend, sister, teacher's gift or thank you gift, don't forget that we have several styles of bracelets, cookbooks and a limited stock of those gorgeous chocolate-colored tees.

Also, if you are wanting to make an outright donation in someone's honor, we are happy to accept and accomodate. We'll send a lovely certificate to the recipient (or to you if you'd prefer) to acknowledge the gesture.

Just some housekeeping tidbits around here today. More thoughts to come this week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Frosty & Friends 2008

It's that amazing time of year again when Frosty & Elf make their way to Wesley Hospital to bring a little comfort, a little joy and a little fun to pediatric patients and their parents. And you can help!

Back in October, our friendly Susan Jae, a.k.a. Frosty, hosted a Halloween party where the admission was an item to give on Frosty's Wesley trip. How ingenious is that?! Thanks to her generous friends, they a have a little head start on this year's sleigh of goodies, but we could definitely use a bit more elfin' magic if you have any to spare.

If you'd like to donate to the trip, Frosty & Elf are in need of:

• groovy stuff for teen kids
• snuggly, new stuffed animals
• giftcards for the parents (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, McDonald's, Spangles, gas cards)
• books, activity packs, little electronic games, young child toys and anything you think would be easy to do while laying in a hospital bed.
• stickers

This year, the big visit is scheduled for Monday, December 22! So if you could have your donations to Susan by Monday, December 15, that would be swell.

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

Can't wait to get my care package sent!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanks, #6

You cannot be grateful and bitter.

You cannot be grateful and unhappy.

You cannot be grateful and without hope.

You cannot be grateful and unloving.

So just be grateful.

Author Unknown

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanks, #5

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming
gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks, #4

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

October 3, 1863

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks, #3

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty
is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in
every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks, #2

I'm thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like
my shoes.

I'm thankful for the birds; I feel like they're singing just for me
when I get up in the morning... Saying, 'Good morning, John. You made it,

I'm thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the
scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down.

I'm thankful...

Johnny Cash

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks, #1

If you just look at all that already exists in your life, all that you
already have: unlimited air to breathe, ample lighting to see, music to hear,
books to read, stars to dream by, trees to gaze at, floors to dance on, friends
to cavort with, enemies to befriend, strangers to meet, woods to walk through,
beaches to comb, rocks to scale, rains to cleanse you, rivers to float you,
animals to comfort you, you do have to admit, there's more of it than you could
ever, ever, ever spend.But try anyway.
Mike Dooley

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A week of thanks.

This week as preparation for family & feasting bubbles up, we thought it would be nice for you to have a moment each day where you can just breathe and appreciate the moment. So we'll post a good thought for you to hold in your mind each day this week to honor this season of gratitude.

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Author Unknown

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for chili and those who love to make chili and those who love to eat chili. See yesterday's post for a great lunchtime event tomorrow!

I'm thankful that at this time of year we look forward to preparing a delicious meal to share with our family & friends--an entire holiday devoted to just being thankful. Thank you, Abraham Lincoln. What a Thursday we get to have each year! I'm thankful for warm kitchens, family recipes and the aroma of home-cooking. I'm thankful for the idealized images that Norman Rockwell created about holidays such as this. Slightly unrealistic in these modern times, but a wonderful goal to hold in our hearts nonetheless.

But most of all I'm thankful that all this gratitude begets sharing. How appropriate that being grateful for all that we've received launches the season of giving.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Attention all chili lovers!

If you work at Learjet in Wichita, Kan., be sure to schedule your lunch hour in Building 6F/6G (Flight Test area) this Friday, November 20, for a Chili Cook-off benefiting The Kyrie Foundation! Are you a Learjetter who has a smokin' chili recipe that puts all other to shame? Then this is your event!

To enter the contest, just e-mail Bonnie Kissinger. It's FREE to enter; just whip up your secret recipe and bring it in a crockpot on Friday. Tasting & judging will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be PRIZES for the winning chefs to take home and, of course, reputation on the line!

To eat, just bring a couple bucks and stop by between 11a-1p. Just $1 per sample! Donations accepted and welcome.

Forecast for Friday? A brisk 44 degrees--perfect for a piping hot bowl of goodness, eh?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


If you are on Facebook, we'd love for you to join our cause! Just do a search and you'll find us! You must be a member (free!) of Facebook first, however.

Those of you who are not interested in Facebook, well, you'll still be first-to-know on happenings & progress with regular visits here to the blog. Thank you for being here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for that which is behind the scenes. I am thankful for things like sewer systems, electricity, stage crews and sous chefs. I am thankful for the underpinnings that allow life to keep on keepin' on, like the person who invented elastic. We should be thankful for alternators and the wind that blew the seeds to create this years Texas wildflowers. I am thankful for those who complete the scut work, the grunt work and the ones who remain nameless and credit-less for popular success stories.

I'm thankful for the work that was done to make the auction look so great.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letting it settle in.

Metamorphosis 2008 was a tremendous night for us. As I told many people that evening, it is just as important, if not more so, that we earn a good reputation as we earn those research dollars. We met so many new people who had the opportunity to meet Kyrie through her tribute video and who offered to help save the next Kyrie with us. The whole idea was to make art turn into hope, to make shopping turn into research and of course, that tears would turn into triumph. Changing hurt & loss into help & hope is nothing short of a miracle, but with your help, I think we achieved that last Thursday.

Everything went so smoothly and the response so positive that I'm pretty sure that you can look forward to Metamorphosis 2009!

And how about that band?! Don't we love Softee!?!?!?! I mean, how many bands include a cello? Love that. And I don't know that I've ever met four sweeter, cuter, more talented girls. They've got the "sugar & spice" thing totally down, and they also "get" how important this cause is, which endears them to us even more.

Have you had a chance to scroll through the photos from the link on the last post? Chris Bendet did a fantastic job, didn't he? Another amazing volunteer for whom we are incredibly grateful.

I don't have to ask if the food was good. :) We were worried that we'd have a ton of food leftover. What a needless worry that was! Thanks to the delish dishes of Thomas, D'Bronx, Room 39, La Bodega, Sweet City Cupcakes and Sunset Grill, we had tasty nibbles to go along with The Foundry's great local brew. Did you notice the gorgeous & delicious blue, butterfly sugar cookies? Another amazing soul, Karen Schotsch, volunteered to create those scrumptious morsels. So touching. She, in fact, was the first person to heartily climb on board this event and provided ideas and advice and donations every step of the way. We adore Karen.

We are also indebted to Studio 2131 for their great venue. I don't know that we could have chosen a more inviting, approachable space in which to showcase the art & gifts. Speaking of which, we are so thankful to the donors who made this event happen. Artists from all over the country mixed with a cornucopia of local talent made for a great offering. A remarkable friend, Patrick Sheridan, was an incredible source of procuring art for us. We thank him profusely! And to all the donating retailers in the Kansas City area, we know that helping a new nonprofit is the last thing on your to-do list, but what a difference you made for us by lending us your reputation and giving us an item for the night.

And to our guests, thank you for making time, finding time, giving time to us Thursday. One evening, just four hours out of your year, made a world of difference for us and the fight against brain cancer. You make us.

So ...

as we put the caps back on the pens and the vases back in their places, we are once again humbled by your generosity and honored by your presence to stand with us.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What a great night!!!!

Oh, my.

We are just beside ourselves, happily exhausted and supremely grateful to so many new friends of Kyrie's and new patrons of the foundation.

We had absolutely no idea what to expect, and with considerable trepidation, we opened the doors not knowing what would happen. What if it was just me & Chad that showed up? What if people didn't care enought to come? What are we going to do with all of this ART?!?

Needless worry. We LOVE that so many different people came together for a common cause. The space was comfortable, the art approachable and the goal? Achieved. ;)

I'll post more in the next few days, but in the meantime, you can check out the photos that Chris Bendet took. He was incredibly kind, talented & generous to come to the event, and we think he did a great job caputuring bits & pieces of the evening.

Thank you to all of you who supported the evening. We are so thankful.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for volunteerism. We would not be where we are without so many of you. I am in awe of your personal willingness, that incredible openness to say "yes!" to something out of your routine, something new, something worthy.

There is a lot of talk these days about doing good. Check out a few Target commercials or Bono's (red) campaign. Lots and lots of nice things are said. Lots of good wishes. I love that spirit. However, somebody has to do the work to make those wishes come true.

Thankfully, a small yet mighty band of do gooders stepped up and made Metamorphosis 2008 happen. We extend bountiful gratitude to the new friends of Kyrie's that have saved this day, which we hope will someday save children! Thank you to Tuesday Schmidt, Jen Walker, Kelly Jackson, Amy Smith, Carly Farrell, Karen Schotsch, Michelle McClellan, Cherie Journee and Patrick Sheridan. for being part of something you weren't even aware of this time last year. Thank you for being there tonight to make this event exist. Thank you for offering without our asking; thank you for spending your time working on this instead of a million other things you could have been doing.

We are humbled.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Finishing touches.

So we're in the home stretch of organizing the big, fab art+gift auction! Looking through all the donations, I have to say we have been extremely blessed. We are so lucky to have the help of so many. All the Yeses put all the Nos to shame. ;)

Looking back on the last 10 months of thinking and planning and calling and asking and running, we are pretty astonished at how far we've come. We've been up against a saturated non-profit market here in K.C., competing for time, attention, space and funds with other organizations that are more established, bigger or have more resources. We've been up against the economy, its fears and worries. We've also been up against whatever happens to be going on in your lives, be it ball games, out-of-town trips and a host of other ideas vying for your time.

The thing is, though, cancer doesn't stop for any of that.

Kids are still having craniotomies today, chemotherapy today, radiation today, seizures today.

So we hope you take heart knowing how much your participation means to The Kyrie Foundation. We take no gesture for granted. We, the healthy, the able, are the only ones in a position to fight this monster while these parents are fighting for the lives of their children. We thank you. Oh, how we thank you for being with us tomorrow night.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get to know the artists, #7.

If you have wee ones, you might have seen the work of Jill McDonald at such retail favorites as Target, Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod or Toys R Us.

From her site:
Jill McDonald is rapidly becoming nationally recognized as an extremely talented young designer with a colorful, whimsical style that's fresh, fun and unique. Jill graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 1998 with a degree in textile design. She then joined Baby Gap in Gap's Manhattan, New York design headquarters as a print stylist. After two highly successful years at Gap Jill made the decision to return to her hometown of Kansas City, MO and joined Hallmark Cards as an illustrator. During her three years with Hallmark Jill created numerous top selling gift-wrap and greeting card collections for Hallmark, Target and Wal-Mart.

She now designs on her own from her studio in Parkville, MO., and creates funky, chunky, painted art, like this:

And then it could be made into stuff like this:

We are so delighted to have her in our artist roster--another one of Kansas City's creative treasures.

From Dallas, Texas, we're pleased to also include Dennis Murphy, photographer extraordinaire.

Dennis has an incredible eye for capturing fetching details, and his ability to intensify color & contrast brings out even more character in his subjects and compositions. If these two examples from his portfolio catch your interest, you'll definitely want to be with us Thursday night!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Less than a week!

So Metamorphosis looks like a groovy way to spend a Thursday evening, don't you think? The artists we've featured here are just a smattering of what will be represented. So many great compositions and artisan items!

And I love the idea that you could go Christmas shopping that night with us, not have to pay sales tax on your purchases, and 100% of whatever you spend goes to fight the cancers that are in children's brains. Isn't that incredible?

And if it weren't already obvious enough, this event, this cause is terrifyingly important. We realize that we're not a "national nonprofit brand" (some businesses have told us as much.), and we know that what we're attempting is formidable, but we've got to start somewhere, and we can't do it alone. This is bigger than me & Chad and the board, bigger than the family. It is our hope that enough of you join us to make this bigger than the cancer.

Over the course of the past year as planning for these events has taken priority, we've put every spare minute and plenty of our own cash into these efforts. We believe in this work. In hindsight, I can't imagine a more productive way, though, to spend those minutes and dollars than to help these families fight the good fight. I would hope that if it were me spending night & day watching my child slip away, that somebody, anybody, would care enough to help.

So another round of thank yous to all who are caring & sharing! Can't wait to see you next week!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for good business, meaning helpful business, community-conscious business, generous business, people business. With all of the planning for the events this season, we have become keenly aware of those kinds of people who run businesses that have helped us do what we've needed to do. Without them, we'd be nada.

So for Metamorphosis 2008, we have a slew of generous people who have donated gift items on behalf of their companies, just like:

New Letters on the Air
Curious Sofa
Gold n Designs
Trezo Mare
Johnny's Tavern
Brookside Avenues Bistro
Hollydays Aesthetics
Kansas City Steak Company
Kansas City Royals
Riffels Coffee Company
Dirty Laundry
Pophearts/Catfish & Tater
Best Buy
Sopra Salon & Spa
Cockrell Mercantile
Nell Hill's
Sandy Braun Photography
PS Sweets
Tastefully Simple
Lia Sophia
Fairfield Inn
Pamela's Interior Design
M. Culture
Paradise Park
Capital Grille

These are businesses that I will favor over others in their neighborhoods or in their categories. These are the places where I feel like my money is valued, where I can be more than just a dollar sign, where I become a bona fide patron.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get to know the artists, #6.

Always in demand, photographer Kelly Jackson has an abundant and natural ability to discover gorgeous compositions, be it human or otherwise, with her camera.

From her site: My desire is to always shoot more from my heart than my head. Though there are rules to follow and techniques to assist, I believe photography is about moments - emotions - breath - finding the beauty in the every day and the extraordinary in the commonplace.

She has a healthy wanderlust, as well, that has served as both cultural invitation and scrumptious buffet of subjects for her fine art photography, such as the buildings of Prague, Midtown life in Manhattan and as you will find next Thursday: the beauty of Venice.

With a client list that includes The New Yorker, Wine Spectator, Notre Dame, Microsoft, Apple, The American Red Cross, Carnegie Endowment and an award list that boasts American Illustration, Print Regional Design Annual, Applied Arts Magazine, Pixel Perfect, Harper Collins and Graphis, Ken Orvidas and his illustrations have excelled.

Ken's art often features conceptual images using digital tools, paint, graphic illustrations using pencil, acrylic, scanned textures and objects. He creates illustrations for books, magazines and new media. Keep an eye out for his style the next time you peruse through your fave magazine and of course, next Thursday ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Get to know the artists, #5.

Just a week & a half to go! And next up are two wonderfully talented sets of eyes.

One look at Sheri Berry Designs, and you'll be enchanted by Sheri Seibold's lively ability to make that which is old altogether new again.

From her site: Sheri works from her studio in a 1937 cottage in a small town near downtown Kansas City, surrounded by collections of vintage textiles, cards, pins, plates, and other artifacts that delight and inspire her. For Sheri and her family, “retro” is not a style applied to newly manufactured items, but a way of life filled with old furniture, bedding, kitchenware, and art that have been lost, found, and pressed into joyful service again.

For us, she has donated select pieces of her own collage art created with one-of-kind, vintage ephemera pieces. Superbly darling. If that weren't enough, her highly artistic ingenue daughter, Shelby, has also contributed a piece that is equally charming.

We pleased to include two contributions from Robert Mizono.

From his site: Born & raised in San Francisco, California, Robert studied art & design at the Univerity of California at Berkley and City College of San Francisco where his love affair with the camera began.

Robert has also traveled the world extensively on behalf of his clients, like Coca Cola, Federal Express, LL Bean and Nike.

As an avid fly fisherman, it's easy to see Robert's uncanny eye for the unguarded moments in natural environments. One part voyeur, one part participant, both vantage points beautifully coexist in his work.

More generous thanks to these two contributors for being part of something good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for all of our new friends that have made the art+gift auction possible. It is through their benevolence that we can do what we do.

Studio 2131 was the very first to sign on to make this event happen. The space is gorgeously comfortable; stylish without being stuffy. And it's located in the up & coming Kansas City arts area known as the Crossroads District. Not a day has gone by when we don't remind ourselves how incredibly blessed we are to have their support.

Softee. Four friends. Loads of talent. Self described "low-fi girly indie pop." Yep, these ladies of lo-fi are rockin' the city scene. We are so pumped to have them with us on November 6! And see that art up there? That's their newest CD, available at Streetside Records in Westport!

La Bodega is THE spot in K.C. if you want a phenomenal array of Spanish tapas or "small plates." From their site: Tapas represents the Spanish custom of placing a piece of bread over the glass of wine. It is a custom that dates back past the 1500's. Traditionally, the exact food served is less important than the social occasion. Tapas is a way of life. It signifies leisure, camaraderie and good humor. In Spain, Tapas are almost always accompanied by wine. They are so much about talking as they are about eating and drinking. The wine is the medium that hold the conversation, with friends and the food together. You make time to enjoy the moment in an unhurried way.

D'Bronx is a hands down, the best New-York-style deli right here in K.C. Slices of 'za so big you have to fold 'em. And the shrimp bisque? So good you'll slurp. When I lived in Midtown, this was a fave for lunch and weekend people watching.

Room 39 epitomizes the local food movement, which I heartily applaud. The fewer miles your food has to travel, the more deliciously fresh & nutritious is it. From their site: Focusing on seasonal, fresh and locally grown ingredients, Room 39 is the premiere location in Kansas City for seasonal American food. We are proud to support local agriculture. Love that.

The Foundry at McCoy's is "home of the half-pound, Velveeta-stuffed, juicy-Lucy hamburger." Quite a feat, no? Not only that, they pride themselves on knowing and serving the best liquid wheat around, like lagers, pale ales, ambers, the Belgians, porters, stouts and much more. We thank them greatly for donating a bit of adult libation to the art auction festivities.

Sunset Grill.
Who would have thought a piece of the Caribbean was in Overland Park? 'Tis true. Sunset Grill hosts great wine tastings--even rum tastings--and offers free Texas Hold'em poker at 8:00 PM every Monday. And if you want to sample their really, really, really, really fantastic artichoke & jalapeno dip, come hang with us at the auction. ;)

Heard of Magnolia Bakery in NYC? How 'bout Sprinkles on the west coast? Well, make way because there's a new cupcake in town.
Sweet City Cupcakes
are made with local & organic ingredients, making them even more delish. And they're by delivery only right now, which means, you get cupcakes delivered to your door. A dream come true for me. Not only that ... they also support Cupcakes for a Cause, a national fundraising event Oct. 20-26 sponsored by local bakeries who sell cupcakes to earn funds for CancerCare for Kids program, which provides free support services to children affected by cancer and their families. We LOVE Sweet City Cupcakes for their baking expertise, but we love them more for their heart. Come bid with us on November 6 and taste 'em for yourself!

Thomas creates a beautifully cozy atmosphere on 39th Street in Midtown Kansas City to enjoy a great glass of wine. And every Tuesday through Saturday, they have live music to go with your oyster mushroom bruschetta. One of the best date night spots around.

Our Price Chopper market in Lee's Summit, Mo., has graciously provided soft drinks for the auction. Not only are we thankful for their contribution, but we also appreciate the fact that Price Chopper stores are locally owned, and there is ALWAYS some sort of community event that they are supporting, be it emergency medical assistance to Kansas City families or the Dream Factory or labels for school funding. They are our Do Good market here in the metro, and we are so thankful for that.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get to know the artists, #4.

We are honored, pleased, humbled and ecstatic to introduce you to another contributor to Metamorphosis 2008. Please welcome, Ms. Amy Butler! From her home in Granville, Ohio, Amy is an international textile designer with a fan base that certainly includes moi and thousands of others. Her bold, vivacious patterns and keen eye for modern color combinations are summed up nicely with her trademarked "Midwest modern" style, which has been published into several incarnations, like this:

She designs fabrics like these:

to make things like this:

and this:

From her site: I've never given a second thought to being an artist. It's really who I am, and what I enjoy. I'm inspired by my surroundings, my friends, my family, nature, and the rich textures of everyday life. I was never much on following trends. I like to remove myself from the cultural influences and design from a very intimate point of view. I collect vintage fabrics and use them in all of my work. I love the hunt, I love flea markets and shops and traveling abroad to find inspiration.

We love how comfortably hip her style is, and we hope you do, too. And you know our Good Business friend A-1 Singer Sewing? I bet they could help you make a tres chic Amy Butler quilt to snuggle with this winter. ;)

We're also equally thrilled to bring you the fine stylings of award-winning illustrator Grady McFerrin!

Grady has a fantastically funky portfolio of cool concert posters and delightfully artistic wine bottle labels--looks for his art the next time you need a nice bottle of Italian spumante from Bonny Doon Vineyard.

From his site: Born in Long Beach, Calif. Studied illustration at Cal State, Long Beach. Lived in Florence, Italy, San Francisco and now Brooklyn. My drawings can be seen on several wine labels and stationery products. My art has been recognized by AIGA, The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, American Illustration and Print Magazine.

His ability to breathe casual sophistication into energetic typography & illustrated images charms both the eye & the brain. Hope you get that when you see his work in person in just a couple weeks.