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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A Most Welcome Visit

Laurin always loves it when her friends come to visit her. She absolutely lights up, grinning, laughing and watching intently, making sure she absorbs every detail. I think she especially loves it that her nurse dresses her up a little and puts some makeup on her. So often, when I talk to her about makeup, she gets the giggles.

Laurin’s good buddy Lupe Enriquez organized a group of her friends from high school to attend a We Love Laurin party earlier this month. The turnout was excellent, with about a dozen showing up to bless and encourage Laurin. Most or all of them also left a contribution to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. Melba (Laurin’s mom) provided tasty refreshments, including chicken salad sandwiches, chips and glass-bottle Cokes. Knox Jones brought his guitar and ended up leading the group in a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Laurin has the most wonderful, amazing, caring, generous, compassionate friends!

Laurin enjoys a wonderful visit with some friends.

Laurin enjoys a wonderful visit with some friends.

 

Laurin and the girls

Laurin and the girls

Laurin’s Angels

Many thanks to the following kind friends who came to cheer Laurin and to help her meet her ongoing medical expenses:

Mariano & Estela Bocanegra
Nora LaFranco
Alex Gamboa
Knox Jones
Omar Trevino
Harvey Balli
Leslie Law Tanner
Gay Hargis
Ben Garcia
David Carrales
Lupe Enriquez

Some other friends who couldn’t make it to the party sent donations as well:

Denis and Arimon Sanchez
Reba Showers
Gladys Law
Paulette Moore

Other recent donors include:

Penelope Hatch
Carrales & Co.
Danielle Travis
Valerie Blackburn
Melissa Jalomo
Jayne Freeland
Terry Cuevas

Thank you so much to all who are pitching in to help Laurin continue to have the excellent, constant medical care that she needs. You are all a vital lifeline for Laurin.

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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Enjoying Life When Your Body Is a Prison

I thought I’d take a moment to share a little about how Laurin enjoys life in her post-accident reality. Yes, I said “enjoys.” I know most people have a hard time imagining how someone with “locked-in syndrome” could possibly have a positive life experience.

TOUGH SITUATION
I know it’s easy to think of all the negatives about Laurin’s situation. She can’t move (except her head and eyes), speak, drink or eat. She is stuck in the same room most of the time. If her nose itches, wouldn’t that be enough to drive her crazy? She can’t even let someone know she’d prefer a different TV channel. I used to tease her about watching too many soap operas (she would laugh so hard over this!), hoping the nurses would overhear and think about giving her something more substantial to watch.

SILVER LINING
On the positive side, I think Laurin’s situation has made her the most patient person in the world. Every little event in her daily routine must be something she looks forward to with eager anticipation. Each nursing shift change; bath time; TV time; seeing her grandmother wake up in the bed across the room; watching the yard work being done outside her window. When it gets quiet, I’m sure she watches the birds and squirrels out her window, looks at her photos and memorabilia and takes long naps. Her favorite times are when she’s surrounded by people, especially old friends. This is when she lights up and smiles the most. She appreciates a funny line and will laugh big. She loves to look at pictures, so she’s a willing, captive audience for all our vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother's vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother’s vacation photos.

If she gets to go out, even just to the doctor, that is a great day! The trip to see the “Annie” performance was huge for her. Once near Christmas, we bundled her up and took her out in her wheelchair to look at the Hidalgo light display. She had the BEST time!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expressions!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expression!

Carey_Laurin_toysoldier_Christmas2006-w

VISITING LAURIN
Any of her friends who might want to visit her, but feel intimidated by her condition, please try to put that aside. It does take a little getting-used-to when you have to carry on a one-sided conversation, but she certainly enjoys it. Just think of a few stories to share with her, maybe some pictures to show her. You could even read to her. Just give Melba a call before you stop by if you want to make sure Laurin is ready to receive visitors (i.e., not asleep or in the bath).

FINAL THOUGHTS
Here’s the biggest reason I think Laurin still enjoys life. Since she trusted the Lord as her Savior in childhood (well before her accident), we know she is a Christian and are quite sure she prays. That must a fulfilling way for her to spend her time. It is also probably a great relief to communicate to Someone who understands her completely. She gets emotional and tears up during worship music or when we talk to her about God and heaven or read scripture. Anything about the Lord obviously strikes a deep chord in her. This undoubtedly has made the biggest difference for her. Her body may be “locked-in,” but her spirit is free as a bird!

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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Monitor: Laurin Huber in the Spotlight at Closing Performance of “Annie”

Just thought you might want to see this great article in today’s Monitor:

Check out this wonderful article in today's Monitor about Laurin's experience at "Annie."

Check out this wonderful article in today’s Monitor about Laurin’s experience at “Annie.

#LaurinsAngels

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Fashion Fundraiser: Online Trunk Show to Benefit Laurin

Do you have any women or girls on your list for bridal/graduation/birthday gift shopping? Here’s a way to get all that done AND support the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust too.

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

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

Monica Martinez is hosting an online trunk show for Stella and Dot, offering a rich variety of fashion accessories for women and girls. Monica’s daughter was a performer in the recent musical production of “Annie,” which was also a fundraiser for Laurin. When she heard about the need, she teamed up with stylist Lori Nisimblat to create this unique benefit for Laurin. Lori had a cousin who took dance at Melba’s Dance School and knew she wanted to help. Her cousin? Broadway performer Gaby Ruiz, who has taught several master classes at Melba’s.

When you shop via the link below, 25% of the purchase price of everything you buy will go to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust to provide for Laurin’s ongoing medical needs. There is some beautiful jewelry there, as well as bags and scarves. You will at least want to browse this!

Visit this link between May 23 and June 12 to shop the trunk show and help Laurin: www.stelladot.com/ts/y6yy5.

You can buy jewelry, bags, scarves and other cool accessories and help Laurin too!

You can buy jewelry, bags, scarves and other cool accessories and help Laurin too!

 

These fundraisers are so important for Laurin’s future. We’d love to hear from anybody who has ideas for future fundraising events.

If you’d like to make a direct donation, please use the “Donate” button below, or mail a check to We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, 605 N McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501.

Thank you to Lori and Monica and all you trunk show shoppers for your support!

Lisa Kinsolving 

 

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Laurin in the Spotlight at Closing Performance of “Annie”

When choreographer and Melba’s Dance School director Julie Doyle came onstage prior to the opening curtain of “Annie” Sunday evening in McAllen, she announced that this performance was dedicated to Laurin Huber and that all four performances were to help raise money for Laurin’s medical needs. The sold-out audience of 500 broke into enthusiastic applause as a spotlight suddenly beamed down on Laurin.

Laurin checks out the sparkly costumes of some of the ensemble members. Melba (in blue) is surrounded by Daniela Rodriguez (Grace), Johny Joe Trillayes (“Daddy” Warbucks), Ricardo Flores (Drake) and other cast members.

Laurin checks out the sparkly costumes of some of the ensemble members. Melba (in blue) is surrounded by Daniela Rodriguez (Grace), Johny Joe Trillayes (“Daddy” Warbucks), Ricardo Flores (Drake) and other cast members.

It was a fun, though rare, moment for Laurin, who seldom gets out of the house. A special effort was made for this event. Laurin’s mom (Melba) and two of her nurses (Carmen and Elvia) got her into her wheelchair and loaded her into the lift-equipped van for an afternoon at the matinee!

Laurin was absolutely riveted by the delightful show produced by All Star Theatre and Melba’s Dance School. She was enjoying it so much that she had little patience for the distractions of the nurse trying to make her more comfortable! She had no problems despite being off her oxygen for several hours. After the show, Laurin got to go onstage for a meet-and-greet with the cast.
Laurin enjoys a moment onstage with the full cast and crew of Annie, who dedicated the show to her. Four performances were given, all benefitting the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust.

Laurin enjoys a moment onstage with the full cast and crew of Annie, who dedicated the show to her. Four performances were given, all benefitting the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust.

 

We are waiting to learn the final total of how much this event raised for the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. We do know it’s at least $8,000, all from sales of $10 tickets! So it looks like the “Annie” ticket sales alone will provide enough for about a month of Laurin’s medical expenses. These fundraisers are so important for Laurin’s future. We’d love to hear from anybody who has ideas for future fundraising events.

If you’d like to make a direct donation, please use the “Donate” button below, or mail a check to We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, 605 N McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501.

Thank you to all the cast, crew and audience of Annie for your amazing support!

Lisa Kinsolving

 

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