“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.” Mrs. Lydia Maria Child
CureJM Activities, Hillsboro, OR August 17-19, 2012: Reflections and Stories From The Muse
Wow! I just returned from Hillsboro, OR after an inspiring weekend of CureJM fundraising activities. It started when Dave and Noam (my keyboard player) and I attended the CureJM Auction and Banquet on Friday evening at the Embassy Suites and ended with playing a festival on Sunday at Hillsboro Stadium. I was immediately struck by how well both events were promoted and run, evident by the large turnouts, crews of willing and happy volunteers, and of course the successes in the fundraising and awareness raising too. Friday night consisted of a combination of silent and live auctions as well as a dinner and presentation from the expedition that climbed and summited Denali to raise funds for CureJM. I enjoyed the evening and was blown away by people’s compassion and generosity when it came to raising funds. I heard that over $60k was raised on Friday night alone!
On Sunday, the CureJM Jam/Festival was lively, filled with activities for kids such as a human hamster ball, face painting, a dunking booth, snow cones, etc.! It was a warm day but pleasant! Aoede was the first performer. I was accompanied by drums, keys and bass. I opted to combine stories and songs into my performance to tell my story, in the hopes it would stir something in the audience, connect with the kids, give them hope and inspire them to live their dreams! I have a video of the highlights below. For me, just participating in such a momentous event alongside wonderful performers Jessica Lerner and Blake Lewis was rewarding enough. A lot of people came up afterwards to express the impact my performance had on them. I was pleased that I was able to meet in person people I had relationships with only online! I was able to meet some of the kids with JM and learn their stories too. I had never met Mason, spokesperson for CureJM and Damon Smedley’s son who passed away from JM complications in June. I understand however, Mason’s presence was greatly missed. His dream was fill the stadium and free snow cones for all… I had a snow cone in his honor 🙂 (Thanks to Wendy Taunton for all photography!)
Aoede Plays CureJM Jam/Festival!
I came away from Oregon thinking that Hillsboro has an amazing community of compassionate, supportive, loving people and sponsors rallying around CureJM. In San Francisco, CA we have a Keep In Touch meeting for adults with Myositis, but I don’t get the sense of the same tight knit community. I don’t even know honestly if there are local communities for CureJM in the SF Bay Area. It is making me want to do some research and find out!
Yes the traveling, heat (Oregon had some high temperatures!) and performance were hard on my body, but I believe the energy was well worth expending to be able to contribute to a cause that is so near and dear to my own heart. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate and to connect with so many wonderful people!