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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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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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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Kickstart at the Recital

The We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust and website have officially been unveiled. On May 10, a team of volunteers made a special presentation prior to intermission at each of two Melba’s Dance School recitals. After we played a short video (the same one you can see here on the About Laurin page), Edna DeSaro, a distinguished Melba’s Dance alum, came onstage. She poignantly expressed her compassion over Laurin’s situation and her passion that Melba’s Dance School would continue for future generations. She presented a personal check to “kickstart” the giving and referred people to the We Love Laurin tables in the foyer.

 

I think perhaps many were surprised to learn that Melba has cared for her daughter’s extreme needs for 34 years. At 86 years old, she also oversees care of her own mother, who turned 105 today. But Melba is not a complainer. Her strength and positivity completely eclipse the pain to the people she sees each day. She lovingly pours herself into Melba’s Dance School, nurturing and encouraging each new generation that comes through her school. This is truly her “life’s work,” and many of her former students have affirmed over the years how important it was in their lives.

 

The reaction was positive and supportive. People opened their hearts and gave cash and checks right there at the recital. So far, gifts have ranged from $1 to $5000. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated. Perhaps the most touching donations were from some little girls who gave their own allowances to help Laurin. Altogether, the trust has already received $6,655, which is enough to pay for about a month of Laurin’s nursing expenses!

 

Besides numerous anonymous donors, the following people have given gifts to Laurin’s trust: Dr. Dani Talamantez of Star Chiropractic, Edna DeSaro, Sharon Waite, Linda Eason, Guillermo Garcias Jr. of AW Electric, Gary and Bailey Gurwitz, Gaines and Carldene Garland, Rebecca Rios, Homer H. Scott of 5125 Company and Andrea Garcia.

 

This weekend, don’t miss the musical “Annie.” Tickets are just $10 each and will benefit the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. A number of Melba’s Dance School students will be playing roles in this show. Performances are at Nikki Rowe High School (2101 N. Ware Road in McAllen) on Friday, May 16 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 17 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, May 18 at 2:00pm. Let’s make sure “the sun’ll come out tomorrow” for Laurin!

 

Annie-poster-web

 

There are more fundraising events coming up. Please stay tuned by following this blog (fill in your name and email below and check the “Notify me of new posts” option).

 

If you can give a financial gift, please send checks to: We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, 605 N McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501.

 

To give online, use the “Donate” button below. Since the need is ongoing, please consider the monthly option, which you’ll see after clicking the button.

 

Lisa Kinsolving

 

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