Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2003. This was Mattie's first trip to the Los Angeles Zoo. At the Zoo they have a wonderful kid's section, which includes a petting zoo. Mattie and Peter went into the petting zoo, and as you can see while riding on Peter's back, Mattie was trying to understand where he was, what he was doing, and why a big animal was so close to him. Mattie went back several times to the Zoo on various different trips, and since he loved animals, this was a great adventure for him.
Quote of the day: The functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy. ~ Dean Koontz
Behind the registration desk was two rows of orange gift bags on display. These were gifts we provided to all our professional and parent speakers.
To run this event successfully we needed five capable volunteers (Heidi isn't pictured here). In this picture with Peter and I are Tina, Dave, Erin, and Isabel. Erin and Isabel are girl scouts. From the same girl scout troop who raised money to build 100 Build-a-Bears and then went with me to Georgetown University Hospital in February to deliver them to children who were in-patient.
Tonight, Peter and I went to Mattie's preschool annual auction. This is the third straight year we have gone since Mattie died. Peter and I both feel strongly about supporting this school for various reasons. The first of which is Mattie had two of his happiest years at this school, second, Mattie met his first closest friend there and learned how to be a good friend, and third, during Mattie's cancer battle the school united to help us in extraordinary ways. In fact, I still keep in close contact with almost every mom in Mattie's first preschool class, and several of them are instrumental in our annual Foundation Walk. So in Mattie's memory, I am compelled to go back and financially support such a special place. I reconnected with Mattie's teachers tonight, Mattie's preschool director, and several families we know whose children still attend the preschool. However, I also have developed a reputation at these auctions, because I typically have a strategy for winning. Tonight, I went to the auction, after studying the catalog ahead of time, with the goal of winning ten items that I was going to use to help fill some of our great Mattie Miracle raffle baskets in May. These auction items however were dispersed all around a very big room, so I had my work cut out for me during the silent auction. I had literally 10 different things to scan for and monitor, but there is a method to my madness, and I am happy to say I was very successful, or more importantly the Mattie Miracle Walk raffle ultimately benefitted from these efforts.