Monday, April 30, 2007

Hope Gala JDRF

Two years ago I moved from sweet home Chicago (chi-town) to beautiful foggy San Francisco. I was 18, moving to California and starting college, that meant no parents, no curfews, no rules…I was pretty certain I was on top of the world. Sooner than later I got a big reality check! I was lonely in a big city, I didn’t know anyone and had no where to go. Enter Philip Stapleton a.k.a. Phil, who has become something of a second dad to me over the last few years. Phil has been a very close friend and colleague of my father for over 30 years. As a result, he instantly gave me a job at his securities firm in the Ferry Building, Conifer Securities. Before I knew it I had a job working with amazing people who ‘took me under their wing’ so to speak. I was going on company trips to Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs and attending ritzy parties with San Francisco ‘A’ lister's.

Hence the reason I received an invite to the Hope Gala 2007, at the Fairmont Hotel atop beautiful Nob Hill where Pinot Grigio, Grey Goose, and money was flowing. More than 20 years ago Phil (and Conifer Securities) began donating an enormous amount of time and money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) whose sole “mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications.” The Hope Gala is a huge fundraiser which includes a cocktail reception, silent/live auction, dinner, and dancing. All the proceeds from the gala benefit JDRF’s search for a cure.

Nancy Cook, a women who has battled with Diabetes for over 50 years, took the stage to tell her story and promote the 12th live auction item titled Find A Cure. “I think my blood sugar is low” said Cook, who then giggled nervously and leaned on the podium. A champagne glass of Orange Juice was instantly rushed to the stage as Cook went on with her speech. Although light laughter filled the room when Cook joked about her blood sugar level, there was a real sense of humanity brought out in the crowd almost like a wake up call. It wasn’t about the black-tie party at the four-star hotel anymore, it was about a real disease that real people are suffering from that everyone in the room had the chance to help (right there, right then). The Hope Gala 2007 raised nearly $500,000 in the live auction, and along with the price value on each of the 300+ seats and the money from the silent auction the night was nothing short of successful.

Philip C. Stapleton was this years recipient of the Living And Giving Award, as recognition for the dedication and generosity that Phil and Conifer Securities has given JDRF. Phil is an inspiration not only to me, but to anyone who knows him! From helping out an old friends daughter (a.k.a. me) to his commitment to the JDRF, Phil always seems to be searching for another way to ‘give back.’ Phil got involved with the JDRF when Will Wienstien, his partner and dear friend, daughter was diagnosed with the disease. Somewhere over the course of the night, between bidding, drinking, and dinner Phil told me about when Will first came to him and asked for his support regarding the foundation. “ I was a little confused…help the JDF (before it was the JDRF)…I am a good Irish Catholic kid from Brooklyn, why would I support the Jewish Defense Foundation?” explained Phil.

Dressing up, mingling with strangers, drinking and dancing till sunrise: that sounds like an amazing night. But that night becomes so much more special when the party is for a good cause, and you are surrounded by people who want to make a difference. The Hope Gala 2007 could easily be described in two words—Absolutely Fabulous!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Duke

This is ridiculous and pretty unnecessary, but I wanted to test out uploading YouTube to my blog!

John Wayne: The Duke

John Wayne Linzy...aka Jack, is my 1st nephew and my Godson! If you know anything about me I am obsessed with babies and little kids, probably because I still am one!

Jack is the most fantastically amazing baby and I am for sure the proudest Aunt & Godmother...Ever! Unfortunately my sister, her husband, and the Duke live across the country in Norfolk, Virginia but thanks to technology (webcams, camera phones, and the Internet) I can watch him grow from 2970.63 miles away!

Haha, this picture pretty much sums up my family! The Duke is only a week old and can hardly even open his eyes...but lets be honest, he is definitely getting his point across.

"F*@$ You...i'm trying to sleep!"
(Or something like that)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dave Matthews well...says it best!

Hey my friend
It seems your eyes are troubled
Care to share your time with me
Would you say you’re feeling low and so
A good idea would be to get it off your mind

See you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
So we can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We’ll make the best of what’s around

Turns out not where but who you’re with
That really matters
And hurts not much when you’re around
And if you hold on tight
To what you think is your thing
You may find you’re missing all the rest

Well she ran up into the light surprised
Her arms are open
Her mind’s eye is

Seeing things from a
Better side than most can dream
On a clearer road I feel
Oh you could say she’s safe
Whatever tears at her
Whatever holds her down
And if nothing can be done
She’ll make the best of what’s around

Turns out not where but what you think
That really matters
We’ll make the best of what’s around

Best of What’s Around is my first personal blog and I could not be more excited! The name is song by the Dave Matthews Band (who I am obsessed with) and I thought it was perfect, because the song explains how sometimes there is stuff people need to talk about it and although it might be hard it is just better to get it out. My blog does not have a specific focus but I plan on discussing topics and issues that are important to me as a US Citizen, a student, a woman, a daughter, a friend, a music and fashion enthusiast, ect. I hope that my posts will be interesting and ultimately spark some awesome conversations!

Thanks, here goes….