Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just in case you didn't catch it!

We posted this on Facebook last week, but we wanted to make sure you saw it here, too. There was a lovely piece that aired on KWCH Channel 12 in Wichita about Frosty and Elf Rita's visit to Wesley. So much good has been pouring out into people because of this visit, this story, this love. Hope you are moved, too!

Thank you again, Susan, Rita, family and friends for making this happen! You are all so dear to us and have warmed so many hearts with your selfless, do-good-no-matter-what visits. May good, joyful blessings abound for 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As promised, we have a very special gift to give you!

For the last couple Christmases, that John Lennon song "So This is Christmas" has really bugged me. It's that line about "And what have you done?". I suppose a lot of people scratch their heads and wonder where the year went and what they have to show for it. Not here on Kyrie's blog, though. So, John, let me tell you what we've done.

So you know how a while back we all got together and thought that the way to save children from brain cancer was to instigate more research? And remember how we realized that the research came from raising money and the money came from, well, it came from anywhere and anybody? Remember how we sold t-shirts designed by Rhonna and beautiful bracelets made by Terry? Remember how you sent us those super recipes for our cookbook? Remember how Dr. Rosen spoke at the Wichita Baby Fare and how we all put together those happy, scrappy crops at Family Church? Remember how we walked those nine laps for the Twilight Walk at first in Clearwater and then the next year in Wichita? Remember how we were lucky enough to have artists from all over the world donate their work to this crazy idea called an art auction?

Remember how that $50,000 Kyrie Foundation Research Grant seemed so big, so far away in light of a tough economy and being a new, tiny, non-celebrity non-profit?

Guess what?

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You, me, your family, your friends, their families, their friends, schoolteachers, farmers, stylists, attorneys, designers, doctors, writers, realtors, construction workers, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandpas, grandmas, brothers, sisters, young people, not so young people, this person, that person, people you knew, people you got to know, people you didn't even know you knew! WE ALL MADE THE FIRST-EVER KYRIE FOUNDATION RESEARCH GRANT TOGETHER!

This means that January 22, 2010, we'll be traveling to Asheville, North Carolina to meet with the wonderful people at the PBTF. From there, they'll help us decide where this money will do the most progressive good toward finding a real, viable cure. Something REAL. Not something that just looks good, sounds good or simply evaporates. This money has to work just as hard if not harder than we did to create it.

So we have much to celebrate today, don't we?! Thank you. THANK YOU. Thank you for making this happen. Know that, indeed and sincerely, you have made the world a better place not just in theory but in truth.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for this night, a night to honor what was given freely with love, without expectation or manipulation or resentment or conditions. Just like the kind of giving we are capable of giving, too, right? To give our time because its use is bigger than if we kept it to ourselves. To give our ideas and energy because two brains are better than one ... and because you know what happens when two or more are gathered in His name. To give our resources and watch them multiply beyond our wildest dreams. To give our love and care because more than deserving it, he or she simply needs it.

I am thankful because of a night over 2,000 years ago means for us today losing someone we love in our lives is a temporary good-bye.

I'm thankful for nights like last night, when a group of warm-hearted do-gooders led by Frosty and Elf Rita find the courage to be in a place where no one wants to be at this time of year, where suffering for moms, dads, grandparents, siblings and children hangs heavy in fluorescent-lit hallways. I'm thankful that Kyrie is a conduit for sharing and caring and cheer and joy. She certainly was that for her parents when she was here.

I'm thankful for this night in November. These images are courtesy of Chris Bendet Photography, a fantastically generous photographer who made his second-annual appearance at the art auction. We are still reeling with gratitude for all that made that night possible.

Craig & Lee Lueck, Dave Lueck and Gareth Agnew were incredible. Shopping and chopping, getting and prepping, on their feet all day and night to make delicious and nutritious morsels for munching. Dave and Kristi Swob garnered a copious amount of donations for us and turned their dining room into Gift Central. For Anna's aunt Wendy for driving all the way from Wichita to support the event. So many other friends who made time that evening for this little cause with big might. Oh, so thankful for all of you.

For another year that has been particularly awful for Chad and me, these nights are the bright, hopeful lights of 2009. We are thankful that you haven't left us! We are thankful that brighter days lie ahead, that the journey is lighter when traveled with friends, and we're thankful that this is not the end.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A special visit today!

Today is the big day when Frosty, Elf Rita and the Merrymakers visit Wesley Hospital's pediatric unit to deliver all the goods and goodies that you've donated to them this year! They have been able to turn ordinary, everyday events like hosting a Halloween party and giving away unnecessary clothing into grand opportunities for giving to this special annual event.

I dropped off a sack of toys & books at Frosty's parents house last month and Frosty's pops told me how incredible it was for him to help make this delivery each year—the sheer joy on the children's faces, relief and gratitude in the parents' expressions, kind support from the nursing staff—it's all really miraculous to behold.

We are SO grateful for Frosty and Elf Rita's time, attention and energy to organize and manage this fantastic trip each year in Kyrie's name. You have altruistically grown this amazing good out of unspeakable sorrow. Your constant love and creativity has been a healing balm to our family in ways that we can't even find words to explain. We know that your visit will do precisely the same thing for other families tonight!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wait till you get a load of this ...

Frosty has done it again! Now we've got an award-winning singer on our elf crew this year! Read this amazing note from Frosty:

You know that old saying…
"That is music to my ears!"

Well, I now have a whole new appreciation for that saying.

You see, I was sitting at the Jim Brickman concert in Wichita, Kansas on November 23, enjoying his beautiful talents, thinking how relaxing and soothing his piano music was. When I thought, "I know who could really use some relaxation and soothing!"

So the next day, I sent off an e-mail to Jim Brickman's public relations person, explaining Kyrie's story and telling about the "Frosty & Friends" annual Christmas Trip to Wesley Hospital. I shared with her that not only do we shower the children with gifts, but we also like to include the parents who are stuck there, ever-so-worried about their kiddos.

I inquired as to whether they would consider donating some of Jim Brickman's CD's for us to hand out to some of the parents that we met while we were making our rounds on December 23rd.

Immediately, I had a reply…
"How many do you need?!"


You see, people want to do good. They need to do good. It's not what the doing-good does for others, but what that doing-good does for US!

And sometimes all it takes is for someone to ask a simple question.
To make a request.
Just inquire.
And then…there it is. Goodness.

I answered the question with, "We usually visit between 20 to 30 children." And what did I find in my mailbox within just days?
30 of Jim Brickman's "Homecoming" holiday CDs.

Sent with love.
Filled with goodness.
And…sweet, sweet music.

Haven't heard of Jim Brickman? You are missing out! Check out his website, buy a CD for you, give one as a gift.

And listen.
Not only will you hear notes and chords and melodies and lyrics…but woven into all of that, oh-so-quiet, you can hear the chant of "Go Kyrie, Go!" "Go Kyrie, Go!"

Thank you Mr. Brickman. And thank you to Jim's public relations person. Frosty will be sure to pass on a good word for you two on to Santa!

Friday, December 18, 2009

What a creative do-good idea!

Frosty and Elf Rita have been very good this year working on being healthier and that meant that some of their clothes had become too big. So they simply sent this e-mail out to forward to friends, etc.:

Rita & Susan Jae have been cleaning out their closets!

It may be fun to lose weight -

but what do you do with all of the clothes that no longer fit?!


FREE…but with a catch!!


All we ask for is a "donation" towards our

Annual Kyrie Christmas Trip to Wesley Hospital

Pediatric / PICU Floor!

Cash - Toys - Color Books - Crayons - Games - Craft Kits

(Even just $1.00 per item towards "Frosty & Elf Rita's" Trip

would be GREAT!)

IF you are interested in looking and trying on…

let me know!

Wednesday evening THIS week would be perfect!

Ladies: XL - XXL - XXXL

16 - 18 - 20 - 22 - 24


Blouses - Shirts - Dresses - Skirts - Jeans - Slacks - Pants - Shorts - Capris

A little bit of EVERYTHING!

A variety of styles!!


Guess what!?!?!? They ended up raising $50 and 2 BAGS OF TOYS for their trip next week! Can you believe this? What a lovely, ingenious way to create a win-win-win-win! We love this thinking. SO inspiring, isn't it? What if we all could apply this thought pattern--making everything work in more ways than one.

THANK YOU friends of Frosty and Elf Rita! We hope your new clothes keep you as warm as the wonderful generosity you've given these families at Wesley.

And boy-howdy, do we have another amazing story to share tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A gift to everyone.

Did I mention that we have a Christmas surprise for everyone?

Well, we do, so be sure to check Kyrie's blog on Christmas Day or thereafter. We're VERY excited! Hope you will be, too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday stuffings.

A big, warm round of thanks to everyone who popped by the Holiday Boutique last Saturday! Lacie reported that it was a lovely day to meet and greet with lovely, new friends. Seeds of great ideas hatched and a healthy amount of funds from that day is ready to be put into our research grant.

Enormous thanks to Stephanie for this brilliant idea, for thinking of us, for organizing and promoting and planning and managing. A big task with tremendous heart! Again, thanks to you do-good shoppers. Hope you knocked out some items on that list of yours.

In other news, don't forget about Frosty and Elf Rita's visit next Wednesday! Their deadline for donations was Sunday, but if you have giftcards or dollars that you would like to contribute, I'm sure they won't turn you down. ;) Hey! Have you received any gift cards from office parties, gift exchanges or secret Santas that you won't use? Why not donate those!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Boutique 2009!

Here's another great way to pick up a few gifts AND support The Kyrie Foundation! A few months ago, out of the clear, blue wonderment, Stephanie contacted us asking if it would be okay to organize a vendor event that would benefit our cause. Of course, we said YES! (in fact, we'd been hoping and praying for help just like this!). So guess what is happening THIS SATURDAY? Her event!!

Holiday Boutique 2009

Saturday, December 12
Sedgwick County Extension Education Center
7001 W. 21st St. N. (21st. St. at Ridge)
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Come shop these super-fab, good-hearted vendors: Celebrating Home, Close to My Heart, Cuddlebug Baby Gifts, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Premiere Designs Jewelry, Scentsy, Slumber Parties, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware and Uppercase Living.

Plus, there will be PRIZES given away from: Avivo, Beau Monde, Bella Luna, Il Vicino, Java Salon, Olive Garden, On The Border, Pei Wei, Progressions Salon & Day Spa and Under the Cork!

And, I believe, there just might be some Kyrie Foundation cookbooks and bracelets for sale that day, too.

With the shopping season in full swing, you'll probably be out an about that day in Wichita crossing items off your gift list. So wouldn't if be great if you could swing by the Holiday Boutique and take care of a bunch of gifts on your list for school teachers, friends, long-distance friends, sisters, moms, in-laws, co-workers, bosses, family gift exchanges, office gift exchanges, bus drivers, babysitters, your stylist, your clergy, care packages or December/January birthdays? And a portion of each purchase goes to help fight children's brain cancer?

Smart, do-gooder you are, Stephanie! Way to make shopping work in wonderous ways. Big thanks go to her and to ALL of the vendors and contributing businesses. We know first-hand how much time and energy it take to organize an event, so we are tremendously grateful to have your dedication benefit what we're doing.

See you Saturday!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update from Frosty!

Talk about initiative—this is amazing! I have always preferred QT for their cleanliness, but now they've got my business for anything convenience related! Read on ...

I decided to venture out a little bit this year and not only ask friends & family for donations towards our Annual Kyrie Christmas Trip to Wesley Hospital Pediatric/PICU Floor…(12/23/09)but to inquire with a couple of bigger entities.

In September, I sent a letter to the main office of QuikTrip in Wichita, explaining what we do and why we do it. I told them that not only do we hand out goodies to all the kiddos in the hospital, but we also like to give the parents a little something to help out a bit. Gas cards and gift certificates to restaurants.

And then…I waited.

I resent the letter in October, telling myself it had just gotten lost in the shuffle.

And…I waited.

Third time's a charm they say…so I re-mailed for the 3rd time in November.


Finally decided that they must have already filled their charitable donation limit, and told myself to mail that letter in May next year!

But then…the phone rang yesterday.

A nice lady saying she was from QuikTrip was on the other end of the line. She explained that their Contributions Committee only met quarterly,and yes they had received my letter(s)! :-)

The generous QuikTrip Contributions Committee voted to donate…

20 - $20.00 QuikTrip Gift Cards

Friends…that is $400.00 worth! $400.00 that that we can now spend on more goodies for those sick children. $400.00 of stuffed animals, games, craft kits, blankets, toys, books, playdough, coloring books & crayons.


Persistence pays off.

So does patience.

And so does generosity.

As I hope when you read this, you will file it away in your mind,and next time you need to swing in somewhere for gas, or a snack, or a soda, or a sandwich, or a lottery ticket, or…

that you will choose QUIKTRIP!

What goes around, comes around.

Pay it forward.

Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.

You get the drift…

Tis the Season!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick reminder.

If you're making holiday gift purchase online, we would LOVE it if you would go through the GoodSearch or iGive shopping portals in order to help The Kyrie Foundation! Make sure you've chosen to help The Kyrie Foundation with either site, then look for the online store you're wanting to shop. Click to its website and a percentage of everything you purchase will be donated—at no extra cost to you whatsoever!

It's SO easy to do good this way. I just ordered several gifts from this way on Monday--free shipping, too! Just a few other shopping ideas: for anything!
Apple Store for iTunes giftcards, iTouch, iPhone or computer-y stuff
Best Buy for movies, DVDs, electronics
eBay for everything! for jewelry, shoes, etc. for Kansas City Steaks and Diamonique ;)
Travelocity for holiday travel tickets/hotels
Toy R Us for toys
Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, Kohl's, Gap, Avon, Sephora, Tractor Supply Company, Snapfish, Walgreen's, Bass Pro Shops, Dick's Sporting Goods, NFL Shop, even eHarmony! Please—I'm begging you—just check these portals for your favorite stores before heading directly to those sites. You'll find yoga stuff, organic, stuff, internet service stuff, religious gift stuff, craft stuff, maternity stuff, golf stuff, school stuff—you name it!

Also, would you mind telling your friends about this, too? It's just so easy to do this, especially if you're already shopping online anyway, you know?