I’ve tried to write this post three times now, for days since the event on Wednesday… The words either won’t come, or they come all at once.
Neither situation is conducive to an articulate blog post.
I’m having a hard time figuring out how to adequately express how I feel about the awesomeness that was RESOLVE’s 2013 Night of Hope gala.
I guess I’ll just start at the beginning, and cover every excruciating detail… As is my way. 😉
The husband and I decided to take it easy the day of the event, allowing ourselves to sleep in, wandering out to get some greasy diner breakfast that morning, and taking a nice walk around Soho in the beautiful, sunny, fall weather. We also found a little corner grocery, and stocked up on drinks and snacks for the day, since we knew we’d be holed up in the hotel room getting all pretty for a couple of hours.
…What? It takes work!
Anyway, once we were all made-up, ironed, pressed, and coiffed – okay, once I was – we two soft Midwesterners managed to hail a cab all on our own (after walking a couple of blocks…) and were on our way to the pre-event rehearsal at Chelsea Piers.
…And then our taxi got pulled over.
It was kind of hilarious at the time, because with all of the flashing lights and sirens constantly going off in the city, we really had no clue we were being stopped by police until the man in blue approached the window. People we told later said that they had never been pulled over in a cab, and they’d lived in the city their whole lives!
We chalked it up to bad luck, but luck was with us in that the incident was a quick one, and we were still very much on-time for the event rehearsal.
As we arrived and checked in, we met Rebecca, my contact from RESOLVE, who had been in touch with me since I found out I’d won the award. She was so amazingly helpful and friendly, and she made me feel completely at ease when I was nervous about many aspects of the evening. We walked through the layout of the ballroom where dinner would be served, and she showed me how I’d be approaching the steps to the stage. She even offered to let me give the steps a trial run if I was really that scared I’d trip on the way up.
SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t actually trip. I’m not sure my feet even touched the ground, to be honest.
After I had a handle on the layout of the room and a schedule of the events in my sweaty little hands, the cocktail hour before the event began. The room started to fill up with people in suits and dresses, and the bar was mercifully OPEN. The husband and I didn’t know anyone, so we grabbed a bar table and sipped our water, just taking it all in.
After a while, we were approached by some interesting characters: a lawyer from a New York surrogacy law firm who was a former lobbyist, a doctor from South Dakota who specializes in sperm DNA (and who had a little silver sperm pin on his lapel), and finally, I was taken off to a corner where I had the honor of meeting Barb Collura, the President and CEO of RESOLVE, and Corey Huffman, who was to introduce me onstage. Both of these women were so sweet, and made me feel so comfortable. We had some photos taken and chatted a bit, and then they were whisked away to other responsibilities.
I just have to say that every single person I met that night – and there were many – was so lovely and welcoming. Being a Bible Belt Midwesterner in a huge, gritty, fast-paced place like New York City was a bit of a culture shock sometimes, but knowing that there were people in a big ballroom from all over the country and all walks of life, people who had a connection to RESOLVE and to infertility, and people who were there because they honestly care… well, that made me feel right at home, despite the distance.
Once the dining room opened up, we found our table and started meeting our dining companions. The husband and I were seated with the four fabulous lawyers who were awarded one of the Hope Awards for Advocacy, and their husbands. They were so much fun, and such an inspirational group of ladies to be seated with!
Dinner was fantastic, what little of it I was able to eat… I was so nervous about getting onstage! Luckily the wine was poured without my asking, so that gave me a good excuse for a little lubrication of my nerves, if ya know what I mean. During the meal, there were several speakers, including Barbara Collura, celebrity blogger and infertility advocate Rosie Pope, and the host of the evening, actress and advocate Elisabeth Rohm. There were a few testimonial videos shown as well, and throughout the night there were announcements of how much money the event, which doubles as a fundraiser, had raised so far.
By the end of the evening, over $213,000 was raised for infertility support, awareness, and research! How awesome is that?!
As dinner began to wind down, the clock was ticking on the awards ceremony getting underway. There were just a couple of awards in front of me, and each one took less than five minutes from introduction to acceptance and applause. It was just a few minutes before I’d be up, and I was only half listening to the speakers, and half reviewing the remarks I’d written…
Oh. About those remarks…
I started, stopped, wrote, and rewrote what I wanted to say at least ten times before we arrived in New York. Nothing was right. I finally woke up early on the day of the gala and started typing… I think the problem was with the pen and paper. I need to type to really feel free, I suppose.
And so, I emailed myself the basic points I wanted to hit while I had the chance, not really thinking about about how I’d go about printing them.
Well, I never did end up printing that email.
Sitting at the dinner table at the Night of Hope gala, waiting to be called to the stage, I realized that I was going to have to take my cell phone up onstage with me.
And yet, maybe it was appropriate for a blogger to have chosen a technological media from which to read her remarks…
Remarks which I will give you in their entirety in the next post, as I don’t want to lose anyone with the monstrous length of the post as it would be if I kept going.
Please come back for Part Two, which I’ll get out just as soon as possible!