Thursday, July 30, 2009

Smile Train Wrap-Up

Follow Up: The final donation toward our Smile Train efforts came through and I sent a big, fat check off to New York today. With performance ticket sales for three nights, the Jars of Pain, online donations, concession sales and random checks (Thanks, Mom & Christa's Mom!), we scraped together $1,940.55.

Of course, we set our goal at $3,000 but perhaps we were being too ambitious and a tad ignorant of the current economic realities. Still, it's nearly $500 more than last year and enough money to fix eight whole kids FOREVER. I'm so jazzed!

I could not have done it without the help of my steady-eddy improv boyfriend, Steve, and his actual boyfriend, Daniel. They did all the really hard work while I excelled at fretting. Also, bringing together 15 performers within three improv groups made it feel like half-party/half-asylum but entirely hilarious. Please see sampling below:

That's Miranda (l) and Ben (r) dressed as slutty cheerleaders and Jason (c) as Russell Crowe's stylized pet orangutan, Krikey, for an episode of audience-favorite, "Dye My Bitch."

Here we are celebrating afterword at Hamburger Mary's. My horse teacher, Beanie, even came along with her husband, Chris. It was fun and I was mighty relieved to have it all be over. You can be sure I got drunk that night and slept until 11 the next day, dreaming of smiling kids the entire time.

When I finally rousted the next day, I discovered that Walter Cronkite had passed away the previous night during our final benefit performance. It is notable because Walter was one of the first celebrities to publicly endorse Smile Train when it was founded over a decade ago and he was featured in their very first promotional video.

One of the founders and current president of Smile Train, Brian Mullaney, recalled in an email remembering Walter:
"As I sat there speaking with him I looked around his office and saw photos, newspaper front pages and headlines of many of the biggest events that have happened in America and the world over the past 50 years. Walter was front and center at each and every one of them: JFK’s assassination, man on the moon, Vietnam, Watergate, The Berlin Wall, etc. I felt like I was in a museum and sitting across the desk from an American Institution."

In addition to the donation and helping the kids, I'm especially pleased that we unknowingly honored Mr. Cronkite as he was leaving us. He was an amazing friend to humanity and he'll be sorely missed.


Heidi's heart said...

Walter's passing had a much more profound effect on me than the passing of Michael Jackson. I remember so well how his broadcasts shaped my childhood and early adulthood. I will miss him.

ClizBiz said...

Walter represents a time when we trusted journalists to tell us the truth. Not so easily accomplished these days.