BBQ Benefit: The Sequel

For the second year in a row, Edna De Saro and Lone Star National Bank hosted a BIG barbecue plate fundraiser to help with the expenses for Laurin’s care. On Saturday, April 22, the parking lot of Melba’s Dance School became THE place to pick up a great lunch. For $8, you could feast on a mountain of BBQ chicken, rice, beans, potato salad and bread.

A high-energy team of volunteers dished up hundreds of to-go boxes of food and delivered them directly to the vehicles swiftly and efficiently. Lupe and G.J., two of Laurin’s closest friends, kept things moving (see video below) so that few had to wait more than half a minute for their food. Lupe and G.J. also head up a faithful group of Laurin’s friends who make it a point to visit her regularly, which she always LOVES, and help with her fundraisers when needed.

The BBQ event this year raised more than $10,000 for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, which helps with the ongoing expenses of Laurin’s constant care needs.

The BBQ benefit was held in the parking lot at Melba's Dance School.

Check out the action here: https://youtu.be/IqJiHxrvFPw

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Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” (this is for gift checks outside of the ad program described under Laurin’s Angels; ad program checks should be payable to “Melba’s”) and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours.

If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

 

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BBQ Benefit Blowout

On Saturday, May 21, Edna De Saro headed up a herd of happy helping hands to heap hearty helpings of hash. OK, well it wasn’t exactly hash – I just got carried away with the h-words. The food dished out was actually good-old, down-home barbecue eats: chicken, potato salad, rice, beans and bread. It was all done to benefit the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. An $8 ticket bought a generously-filled, to-go box, served up in the parking lot of Melba’s Dance School at lunch time.

The team gets ready for action.

   The team gets ready for action.

Barbecue -- YUM!!

Barbecue — YUM!!

 

At your service!

At your service!

 

Some of Laurin’s best angels teamed up and sold hundreds of tickets for this delicious event. Special thanks to Lupe Enriquez and G.J. Reyna, who often put great effort into raising funds on Laurin’s behalf and gathering her friends to visit her. The money raised at the BBQ will be used to help with the expenses of Laurin’s ongoing medical care.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies

 

 

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Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” (this is for gift checks outside of the ad program described under Laurin’s Angels; ad program checks should be payable to “Melba’s”) and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours.

If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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Ballerina Balm: The Launching of a Labor of Love for Laurin

Five-year-old Cindy Holland found her first friend in the world at 1500 Hibiscus Street in McAllen. Laurin Huber lived only two doors down from her. They jumped on the trampoline together, played with Barbie dolls, rode their bikes to Dairy Queen and danced at Melba’s Dance School.

Because Laurin was a year older, Cindy always looked up to her. More than 47 years later, Laurin is now looking up to Cindy from the bed where she receives 24/7 nursing to stay alive. In 1980, Laurin’s life changed forever when she almost died in a car wreck that has left her helpless to do anything for herself.

Until recently, the last time Cindy saw Laurin was in high school. Like most news these days, Cindy learned through Facebook about the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. She wanted to visit Laurin but was a little hesitant. When Lupe Enriquez posted about a reunion party to visit with Laurin, Cindy knew she couldn’t stay away any longer and drove straight to McAllen from San Antonio.

Laurin is reunited with her childhood friend Cindy.

Laurin is reunited with her childhood friend Cindy.

“When I saw Laurin for the first time, I didn’t feel sad like I thought I would,” said Cindy. “I felt blessed to be able to spend time with her. All the little annoyances and problems of my life felt so insignificant. Visiting Laurin brings me joy and puts things in perspective for me.”

Shortly thereafter, Cindy had a poignant idea to help her childhood friend and dance buddy. She and her daughter Andrea have dedicated 10% of the Ballerina Balm sales nationwide to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust as a way to help with the tremendous expense of her care. “I remember what an amazing dancer and tumbler Laurin was,” said Cindy. “I felt this was a good way that we could help with her support.”

Ballerina Balm is designed specifically to soothe the soreness and aches of dancers’ feet. The average ballerina exerts 220 psi of pressure on her feet when dancing en pointe.

10% of Sales to be Given to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust

10% of Sales Will be Given to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, which helps to cover Laurin’s medical expenses.

“One of the main ingredients in the secret formula is peppermint, which is so rejuvenating,” said Cindy. “In the McAllen area, Ballerina Balm will be available exclusively at Melba’s Dance School.”

Ballerina Balm is part of the new Chalet Cosmetic line that Cindy and her daughter are launching nationally. Cindy grew up in the cosmetic industry. Sue Holland, her mother, owned and operated Merle Norman stores in La Plaza Mall, Edinburg, Pharr and Weslaco.

A limited number of stage makeup kits will be available for purchase at Melba’s Dance School, along with Chalet Cosmetics’ oil-absorbing pumpkin powder, cleansers, toners and moisturizers that are available exclusively at Melba’s Dance School, located at 2100 N. 10th Street in McAllen, Texas.

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Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” (this is for gift checks outside of the ad program described under Laurin’s Angels; ad program checks should be payable to “Melba’s”) and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours.

If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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Benefit Christmas Concert for Laurin

Date: December 21, 2014
Time: Two Shows: 4pm and 7pm
Event: “CHRISTMAS LOOKING BACK” with Brett Marshall and Chapel Friends
Where: Chapel By The Sea, SPI
Tickets: $8.00 (proceeds go to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust)
More info: 612-309-2651

Get ready for another fun way to help Laurin! Laurin’s sister-in-law Lisa Kinsolving and some friends at South Padre Island have been doing an annual Christmas concert for several years now. When these friends heard about Laurin’s situation and her great need for financial help, they immediately suggested that the next concert be a benefit for Laurin. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

The concert takes us back to the 1940s during World War II, with some fun renditions of Christmas favorites that sound like they came right out of grandpa’s old radio. “The edgy harmonies of the big-band era are exciting and fun to sing,” said Lisa. “You don’t hear it much anymore, so we’re looking forward to bringing it back for this special event.”

The core group of vocalists for this event, from left: Brett Marshall, Carolyn Porter, Dale Ziegler, Lisa Kinsolving, Ron Fuqua and Paul Cardile

The core group of vocalists for this event, from left: Brett Marshall, Carolyn Porter, Dale Ziegler, Lisa Kinsolving, Ron Fuqua and Paul Cardile

Brett Marshall is the pianist, baritone vocalist and musical director of the show. An extraordinarily talented musician with several recording projects under his belt as well as a full-time music career, Brett’s musical leadership and people skills draw out the best in all the performers. Brett was quite moved when he first heard Laurin’s story and was eager to have the concert become a benefit for her.

Carolyn Porter, soprano, organizes the concert each year and oversees graphics and publicity. She delivers some lovely solos and brings a fun-loving energy to the show. “I’ve loved participating in the Christmas programs in past years,” she said, “but this year’s show will be so different and fun, and it’s heartwarming to help Laurin.”

Lisa Kinsolving, mezzo soprano, wrote the script and selected most of the songs for the concert. She will also be introducing a new, original Christmas song she wrote herself. “God really surprised me with that one,” she said. “I can’t wait for Laurin to hear it!”

Ron Fuqua, tenor, is known by regular attendees of the concert for his stirring rendition of O Holy Night, which he will reprise again this year. Ron loves the idea that his singing will be raising money for someone in need. “It feels so very good to help someone at this time of the year,” said Ron.

Paul Cardile, tenor, is always an uplifting, energetic presence when he sings. Performing in the Christmas concert “just makes me realize how much music means to me. It has been a gift from God that at times I took for granted, but always cherished,” said Paul. Finding out about Laurin’s connection with Gregory Hines brought back memories for him. In his early days of show business, Paul remembers auditioning and performing alongside Gregory and Maurice Hines!

Dale Ziegler rounds out the core group of vocalists with his fluid baritone voice. Get out the tissues when he sings I’ll Be Home For Christmas. Dale also directs the choir at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church in Port Isabel. It’s always great to have an expert in the show!

There will also be one or more guest appearances in the Christmas concert.

We hope to see you there! Be sure to get your tickets in advance. The venue is small enough that it could easily sell out. Ticket info is at the top of this post.

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

There are two performances, both on December 21: 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

There are two performances, both on December 21: 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

If you have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know. If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels #welovelaurin

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Shop + Help Laurin = Win-Win

FASHION FUNDRAISER

Another of Laurin’s wonderful friends has stepped up to bring an exciting fundraiser to the Valley for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. As you know, Laurin’s medical needs are ongoing. It is extremely expensive to get Laurin the care that she needs. Her helpless condition requires constant, skilled help.

Laurin's condition requires constant, skilled care.

Laurin’s condition requires constant, skilled care.

Enter Adriene Blackburn Coffey, who is coming all the way from California to host the Valley debut of the new Winter 2014 Collection by a fashion company called W by Worth. It will take place at two different locations over the course of four days and will be a benefit for Laurin. Here’s the scoop:

HOME OF JEANNE BLACKBURN (304 Tyler Avenue, McAllen)
Thursday, October 23, 9am-6pm
Friday, October 24, 9am-6pm

MELBA’S DANCE SCHOOL & DANCE SHOPPE (2100 N 10th St, McAllen)
Saturday, October 25, 1pm-5pm
Sunday, October 26, 11am-5pm

Please RSVP by indicating your choice of location/date to:

Adriene Blackburn Coffey
acoffey@wbyworth.com
415-378-1704 (Adriene)
956-686-7047 (Jeanne)

Please come and support Laurin and Melba. Giving is always in fashion!

Adriene Blackburn Coffey is bringing a W by Worth fashion trunk show to McAllen as a benefit for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust.

Adriene Blackburn Coffey is bringing a W by Worth fashion trunk show to McAllen as a benefit for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust.

LAURIN’S ANGELS

Thank you so much to Laurin’s lovely friends who have made such generous donations to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. The newest angels are:

Trudie Abbott
Dickie Friedrichs
Carlos Davila

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know. If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels #welovelaurin

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Trinitie Takes the Ice Bucket for Laurin

The day Laurin attended the Annie show, it really made an impression on 9-year-old Trinitie, who played one of the orphans in the production. She had seen the video about Laurin at the recital, but getting to meet her made Laurin’s situation especially poignant to her. Trinitie’s heart brimmed with compassion knowing Laurin had been a wonderful dancer, but can now barely move. Trinitie’s mother, Tammie, explained to her that, while Laurin’s life changed drastically after the accident, she still had a good life. After all, she did get to attend the Annie performance and give roses to the cast members. She can still understand and enjoy what’s going on around her. Trinitie’s whole perspective on handicapped people changed from that moment. She still treasures the rose she received from Laurin as a special memory.

Trinitie-and-Laurin

Trinitie is an enthusiastic student at Melba’s Dance School, taking a full schedule of six classes each week. She is working hard toward her goal of dancing ballet “en pointe.” She is also growing up in a caring environment of supporting worthy causes. Part of everyday life for Trinitie is seeing her mother wearing ribbons and T-shirts for breast cancer, lung cancer, autism and child cancer awareness. Witnessing close family members suffer from cancer has further motivated Trinitie to get involved in the fundraising efforts herself.

Tammie’s niece recently nominated her for the Ice Bucket Challenge. But she didn’t like how small a fraction of donations were actually used for ALS research. With the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, she knew exactly where all the donation money would be going. She told Trinitie she was going to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge, but would do it for all disabilities and diseases, and her donation would be to Laurin. Trinitie immediately nominated herself to do it along with her mother and pledged to make a donation to Laurin herself.

Tammie in turn nominated other Melba’s moms, who also did the challenge for Laurin.

See what a 9-year-old with a big heart can do?

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know. If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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The Embrace of Bracelets

NEW FUNDRAISER

We are excited to announce that a friend of Laurin’s has donated some We Love Laurin fundraising bracelets to benefit the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. Lauren Useda Law took the initiative and had these stylish and colorful custom bracelets made especially for Laurin. They are now available at Melba’s Dance School for a suggested donation of $10 each. If you’re interested in a fun and great-looking way to support Laurin and to help spread the word about her ongoing needs, stop by and get your bracelet!

Show your support for Laurin with a stylish and colorful We Love Laurin bracelet.

Show your support for Laurin with a stylish and colorful We Love Laurin bracelet.

LAURIN’S ANGELS

All who have given in some way to Laurin (which includes not only money, but time, resources, self, prayers, etc.) are part of a VITAL team of people. Every one of you is so important to Laurin and her family. I cannot overemphasize this. It is very much a team effort. In an immediate and tangible way, you are Laurin’s Angels.A HUGE thank you to Laurin’s newest angels, who have given gifts to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust:

Lisa Heaps-Seguchi
Melva Castillo
HD Foundations, Inc.
Jeanne Blackburn
Lauren Useda Law

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know. If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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Trust Update: Trunk Show and Other Donations

We are so grateful to Monica Martinez and Lori Nisimblat for all their work on the Stella and Dot Charity Trunk Show to benefit the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. This was truly a unique and oh-so-fashionable way to help Laurin with her ongoing medical expenses. Thank you to all who placed orders!

Shop for a cause... help the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust!

If you missed out on this event, please be sure to “like” Laurin’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin. We may be doing an encore event later this summer. Stay tuned!

We also wish to thank the following supporters, who either wrote checks to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, or gave online via PayPal (see “Donate” button below).

Susan Lawler
Mary Chapin
Victoria Bennett
Jack & Bobbie Buck
Nancy Weiss
Georgeanna Jones
Jo Rowan
Pamela Economides
Robert Davis
Jill Garza
Hildegardo G. Costa
Daisy A. Arce
Helena Solis
Margaret Leal
Karen Aguirre

Some of these folks are friends who now live hundreds of miles away. It is so special and touching to us how y’all have rallied around to help Laurin. What a blessing to know that friendship is not diminished by distance!

Be sure to keep an eye out for future fundraisers. There are some exciting plans in the works! Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

 

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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Little Girls Raise Money at Birthday Party to Help Laurin

As you might remember from a previous post here, the cast of “Annie” got to meet Laurin when she attended the closing night performance. The musical was not only delightful, but also successful at raising some money to help Laurin with her medical expenses. We are so thankful to All Star Theatre and their outstanding work with Melba’s Dance School to make it all possible.

One of the smallest “Annie” cast members (8-year-old Gabi Ramirez, who played the role of Molly) was apparently quite moved by Laurin’s situation. Once “Annie” was finished and she and her parents could finally plan her long-postponed birthday party, they decided to ask the guests to bring donations for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. Gabi might be small, but her heart is big. What an inspiring message for kids: you don’t have to wait until you’re a grown-up to do important things!

Gabi Ramirez at her Birthday Fundraiser for Laurin

Gabi kicks off her 8th birthday celebration with some of her buddies from “Annie”: Carlos Perez (program designer), Ricky Flores (played the role of Drake) and Joel Garza (director). The “Annie” production and Gabi’s birthday party both raised money to help Laurin with her medical expenses.

Gabi’s mother, Laura Ramirez, said some of the other “Annie” orphans attended the birthday party as well: Julia Martinez, Olivia Fuentes and Helena Solis. Besides donations for Laurin, Gabi also received many books for her school library as birthday gifts. She is quite an accomplished reader at a young age, and this was another way she wanted to make a difference for others. She did receive at least one gift for herself: a much-hoped-for new pair of tap shoes. We know she will put those to good use!

Do you (or your kids!) have any fundraising ideas for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust? We’d love to hear about them. Please contact us!

We are SO grateful to each and every person who donates, shares, gives encouragement or prays for Laurin. It is ALL so very important! #LaurinsAngels

If you haven’t already, be sure to “like” the We Love Laurin page at www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin. This is another way you can help: by getting the word out. Whenever you think of it, please “share” her blog and Facebook posts so we can get more people aware of Laurin’s ongoing financial needs.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

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Laurin in the Valley Town Crier and the Edinburg Review

Laurin is quite the local celebrity lately! Her appearance at the “Annie” fundraiser has been covered in two more local newspapers:

Valley Town Crier -- May 28, 2014

The Annie fundraiser for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust proved newsworthy!

Edinburg Review -- May 28, 2014

Be sure to let us know if you’re planning a We Love Laurin fundraiser. We’ll try to get your event in the newspaper, too!

Also, a huge THANK YOU to the latest supporters to make donations to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust:

Karen Aguirre, Mark Alvarez, Kurt & Gloria Bauernfeind, Ann Beardsley, Ronnye Cowell, David & Nicole Everest, Lisa Hettler, Carrie Hill, Anna Lisa Jenkins, The Judin Children, Victoria Martinez, Sylvia McCormack, Kim Mehis, Mark Piland, Sylvania (Bunny) Reyna, Maureen Sheeran, Daniele Shimonauff, Socorro Trevino, Dina Wilson

We are SO grateful to each and every person who donates, shares, gives encouragement or prays for Laurin. It is ALL so very important! #LaurinsAngels

If you haven’t already, be sure to “like” the We Love Laurin page at www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin. Whenever you think of it, please “share” her blog and Facebook posts so we can get more people aware of Laurin’s ongoing financial needs.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

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