Princess Courtney's 5th Miracle Birthday Celebration Benefit Information
Greetings friends, we wanted to let you all know of the success we had with Princess Courtney's 5th Miracle Birthday Celebration and Benefit on Sunday April 13, 2008.
The afternoon long event included a BBQ plate dinner, a raffle, awards, piano music, a performance by ballet dancers as well as live DJ music. All the children enjoyed the music, especially dancing around on the dance floor with the colored spot lights and disco ball rotating around the room. The adults had an equally great time with some dancing to the special dollar dance with the princess herself as well as to all the other great songs played by the DJ.
Through the wonderful support and generosity of everyone, we have raised $3,434.00 to go toward the renovation of our garage in to a wheelchair accessible bedroom and wheelchair accessible bathroom for Courtney.
We want to thank everyone who was able to attend this event, you will always be a part of this most cherished memory that we will always hold dearly in our hearts. There are just so many wonderful people who are always there for Courtney and do so much to help our family.
Our Pasadena ISD friends : Coach Mora and Sondra, we will always be grateful to you for the amazing BBQ fundraiser you had for Courtney last summer along with Barry Boggs. Barry was not able to attend because he had an accident at the last minute but he did call, he is always just a phone call away, willing to help us. Rod Sutton, you are an amazing man, always ready to lend a helping hand. God's wonderful giving spirit reflects in your kind deeds. Kevin Thompson sold many raffle tickets and along with his beautiful daughter we all had a great time on the dance floor with doing the hoky poky for Courtney and many more fun dances. To all the Pasadena ISD people who have always shown their support to our family since the very beginning of Courtney's illness, we will always be grateful for your support.
We also want to thank those who were able to support our event by signing up and paying for the dinner/dance or by selling raffle tickets or purchasing the raffle tickets. It is because of your support our event was profitable.
Thanks to the people and companies who donated raffle items:
*Mary Gonzales and Duke Energy International for the wonderful donation of the Astro's tickets and free parking passes. The Astro's tickets helped the raffle ticket sales tremendously.
*Sharon Johnson from All Star Graphite Rods for the 2 fishing rods
*The Giving Tree for the beautiful gift basket
*Frank and Son's Jewelry for the lovely freshwater pearl necklace and matching earrings
*Chuck Mitchell from Fairmont Jewelry for the lovely CZ sterling silver bracelet
*The Lollipop Boutique for the $100.00 gift certificate
*Annie Clary for the $100.00 Visa gift card
*Brandon Rosas for the $100.00 cash
*Ruth Johnson for the $100.00 Aldo gift card
*Dawne and Larry Sweet for donating 3 wonderful gift baskets
*Tania Elizalde at Photomundo for donating the $70.00 family photo package
*Compton's Florist for the nice Time and Again ladies gift basket
*Simoniz Car Wash for the 5 car wash coupon's
*Pepper's Steak and Seafood for the $25.00 gift certificate
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who volunteered their talent and time and also to those who donated items we needed for the event.
*Guillermo Gonzales, bought the beautiful cake knives with the Cinderella carriage handles. These will be a keepsake we will keep forever. Guillermo flew in from California just to be with us to celebrate Courtney's Miracle Birthday. He has been a part of our family for many years and we love him dearly.
*Sarah Rosas, purchased Courtney's beautiful dress, tiara, bracelet and ballet slippers.
*Stephanie Jeandeur, one of Courtney's Miracle Workers, donated the beautiful balloon centerpieces for 25 tables as well as making a very elegant box for cards and donations. Stephanie never missed a Miracle Meeting, always being present to show her support as well as being a valuable part of the team making plans for the event. Stephanie sat at the front table at the event checking names off the list as people entered and making sure everyone signed the guest book. She even delivered a beautiful speech for our family as well as awarding the trophies. Stephanie sold many raffle tickets as well. We love Stephanie and her family dearly and when we count our blessing they are at the top of the list.
*Dawne Sweet, also a Miracle Worker, made and donated three wonderful baskets for the raffle. She and her husband Larry volunteered to be dinner servers at the event. I've heard that Larry even mastered the skill of perfectly folded napkins from one of the ballroom volunteers while helping in the kitchen. Dawne also sold many raffle tickets. Dawne is Courtney's Occupational Therapist, but has become so much more. She is always there to give support to both Candace and myself in everything. She loves Courtney so much. We are proud to call her our friend.
*The City of South Houston Volunteer Fire Department, if Chief Garcia had not gone with me to visit the property owner of the ballroom, I don't believe we would have ever gotten the approval we needed. The guys have never let us down for anything. We call, they come, always, for Miracle Meetings or what ever we need. They include us in all their events just like we are their family. They make us feel so secure knowing that they are always there. They accept us for who we are, just the way we are. These guys are truly South Houston’s Finest. Everyone loved how the fire fighters danced around Courtney to their song for her, "My Girl". Thanks to Chief Garcia, Capt. Daniel Olivo, Joel Ferguson and our special friends, Eric, Joey and Clay for sharing our special day with us.
*Thanks to Annie Sandoval and family for providing all the tea and lemonade for the event. You all did a great job, everyone enjoyed both beverages. I know it was extremely hard for this family to attend, with the recent loss of Noel in a horrible automobile accident. He was Annie's husband and father to Chelsey, Tim and little Noel. We appreciate you all so much. I know Noel was present in spirit and joined his family in celebrating Courtney's 5 miracle years.
* Dalia Martinez from MDA, who is always so extremely busy, made it out to help us celebrate. Thanks to Dalia for donating 200 bottles of water, she also bought the mints for the personalized pink boxes for the tables. Dalia volunteered to help at the entrance to the ballroom, she checked the guests names off the list as they entered with Stephanie. Even our friend Annie Clary from MDA made a personal donation to the raffle, a $100.00 Visa gift card which was much appreciated. If it wasn't for Dalia we would not have met Hayron and his family. Manuel Merida, Hayron's dad contacted Dalia wanting to communicate with another family with a child with SMA. Dalia contacted me and from there our friendship with the Merida family began. Dalia was the person who recommended our family as one of the featured families for the Labor Day Telethon last year, that is how we met Stephanie. Stephanie and Gene the camera man, both from Channel 2, came out with Annie and Dalia to film the beautiful piece on us that was shown on the show right after our live interview.
*Two volunteer's made my day be much more enjoyable, Becky Long's mom and niece Mo Lehnert and Paula Jachimiec. It was such a blessing to not have to worry about the raffle collection at all during the party. Both these wonderful people sat in a back corner for the entire afternoon. I can not express enough how these two ladies whom I had never met before gave so much and received so little in return for their time.
*Our friends the Merida family for their support and friendship. Manuel had a collection box on his desk at his job and collected over $200.00 dollars for Courtney. He and Maci paid for my beautiful suit that I wore to the celebration as a birthday gift to me. The family gave a very generous personal donation as well. The Merida's little son Hayron has the same illness that Courtney has, it has been wonderful for Courtney to have a friend who has many of the same medical needs as she does. It has to make her feel better knowing that she is not the only child in the world with disabilities. Hayron and Courtney were wonderful together on the dance floor, being twirled around by Hayron's dad Manuel and Courtney's mom Candace to their own special song "You'll always be in my heart" by Teddy Geiger.
*Thanks to our new friends at the Rachal Dance Studio for performing for Courtney to "When you wish upon a star" by Jessie McCarty, a favorite song of Courtney and Candace's. She woke up from her nap just as the dancers were starting to dance. She watched them dance and twirl their ribbons around, Candace said Courtney started to cry when the dancers left the floor. This performance was like a dream for Courtney, she has only seen dancers such as these on her television. These children are such an inspiration to us. All I can say is that these children have been heaven sent to us.
*There are so many more people to thank, Silvia Martinez (who helped so much with Coach Mora's wonderful fundraiser last summer)donated $100.00, our new friend Margie Ward donated $100.00 and purchased raffle tickets (get well soon Margie, we can't wait to meet you). Ruthie Johnson (Courtney's very own Easter Bunny) donated the $100.00 Aldo gift card for the raffle, a cash donation, and volunteered her time as well as getting her mom, Sharon Johnson, to support the event with the fishing rods donation for the raffle. Ruthie is a very special friend to our family.
*Thanks to the many area businesses who showed their support as well.
Burleson's Florist donated the pink rose boutonnieres for my husband Manuel, Hayron and his dad, Manuel. They donated the beautiful tiny pink rose spray wristlet corsages for Courtney, Candace and Hayron's mom Maci as well as my own pin on corsage.
Kroger on Spencer Hwy. for donating the more than 200 assorted fresh baked cookies for the snack table. Kroger made all the cakes for Courtney's first year of birthday's every month and we continue to have them bake many cakes and cupcakes for our family. The cakes are so fresh and we love the cool whip frosting. Thanks Helen and all the hard workers in the bakery.
All Sew Embroidery on Preston Avenue for donating the embroidery on the three handkerchiefs for Maci, Candace and myself. These will be a cherished keepsake.
Ichi-Ban Awards and Engraving for donating the engraving on the trophies and the plates. Your work is excellent; it was a pleasure meeting everyone at your shop.
Martha’s Bridal Boutique and Irma Garza for making the beautiful wheelchair/stroller skirt for Courtney. Irma's little girl Mia passed away from Spinal Muscular Atrophy just one year and one day ago from Courtney's birthday. Irma made the liner from beautiful pink material that she had purchased to make her daughter Mia some dresses with but never got to make them. Because of having Mia's fabric, the skirt has special meaning to us, we feel as if Mia was dancing with Courtney and little sister Kendall out on the dance floor. At the last minute Candace wanted to add pink toile and rose petals to the skirt to match Kendall's dress. Just days before the party we took the skirt to Mirtha's Bridal Boutique, right in the middle of prom season. These wonderful people did a wonderful job, and even donated their service. Courtney's wheelchair/stroller looked perfect.
We were blessed to have Fox 26 News come out to cover the event; because of this we now have a new friend and supporter. Raymond Ramirez never rushed us during our interview; he did a wonderful job of making us feel comfortable and at ease. Candace usually never is able to speak in public but this time I was amazed as she talked away to Raymond. I was told later that Raymond was so touched by our story that he donated a $100.00 bill as he was leaving. When we least expect it, the heavens open up and we are sent another special person in to our lives.
Thanks also to Univison for coming out and interviewing Manuel Merida, Hayron's dad.
Thanks to Courtney's good friend Yvette Orozco from the Pasadena Citizen for coming out to show her support. Courtney and Yvette became friends when Yvette came out to our house to interview us for a recent article. Yvette stayed with us for about two hours and Courtney loved every minute of it having all of Yvette's attention. Courtney started to cry as Yvette left that afternoon. Yvette gave Courtney a beautiful musical snow globe with a fairy and a unicorn inside with the inscription "Courtney the great", for her birthday. Courtney loves it so much.
Most importantly we want to thank Tania and her family, the Elizalde's and friends at Photomundo and the Austin Ballroom for all they donated, without them Courtney's 5th Miracle Celebration would have never have taken place. This family without a second thought said yes to our request to donate their ballroom for Courtney's event. I could not believe it, as soon as we sat down to the table to discuss the event, Tania pulled out the contract and started checking things off, saying we will do this and this and this.
*This family donated the ballroom for up to the number of guests that we wanted. (200)
*The dinner for our 200 guests, even allowing us to choose the menu of our choice.
*Custom decorations, with the colors of our choice (Pink of course) of the table linens, chair covers and matching chair bows.
*The cake of our choice. Candace got to select from the many beautiful books how she wanted the cake; she chose a small castle to top the cake and even a beautiful fountain underneath. The cake tasted wonderful and was the most beautiful cake we have ever seen.
*Although this family and their employee’s had events on Friday night and Saturday night keeping them up late they all came on Sunday to volunteer their personal time to Courtney's event.
*All of Tania's family, friends and employee's were rushing around to get the food ready, they did an amazing job of everything, even cutting the cake and serving to all the guests. We didn't even have to lift a finger to help clear the tables or clean up in any way.
*Tania donated a very expensive portrait package that included a 20x24 size matted portrait of Courtney (digitally enhanced), hundreds of custom made 4x5 photo's to give to our guests, and a video of Courtney's dream come true event.
*The DJ donated his day for us as did Heath Vercher the pianist. There was Tania with her camera taking pictures and a camera man
that worked so hard keeping his camera going the entire time. Even with all the excitement of having two television stations there to film the first dance with Courtney and Hayron, the Pasadena Citizen reporter and the South Houston Fire Engine there (Hayron and Courtney loved getting to have the engine there and hearing the siren) the entire event went smoothly and was more than we could ever of expected.
The Elizalde family is so amazing, they truly love doing what they do. After our last dance song (The time of my life, from the movie, Dirty Dancing) and just about everyone had gone, this amazing group of people started their own dance. Tania's mom and dad were dancing together on the dance floor with the whole team, to some of their favorite songs like Michael Jackson's "Thriller". After they had all been working so hard and then to see them all enjoying each other's company on the dance floor really touched my heart.
I am sure that I have missed thanking several wonderful people, so please every one of you know that we appreciate each and every one of you.
Please be patient while Courtney's song, "Miracles Happen",
loads...It's worth the wait!