Friday, August 5, 2011

Fundraiser & Road trip recap

This is going to be really long with lots and lots of pictures because
I didn't have a chance to update the blog while I was down south this past trip.  We had a lot going on, and I didn't want to take the time away from friends and family; I was having way too much fun!

Tex and I left NY on Tuesday morning and drove straight through 21 hours to my Mom's house in Arkansas.  That's the shortest amount of time I've ever made it driving to Arkansas!  We thought we would crash once we arrived, but both just napped for about an hour and were up for the rest of the day.  Tex was really excited that Mom's house has a big 'ole front porch and rocking chairs.

We sat outside and watched the sun set over the Ouachita Mountains and looked at the cows in the pasture. 

Beautiful rays from the sunset!

I LOVE watching the sun set off Momma's front porch, there aren't many places prettier than that!!

On Thursday, we went to Waldron to Tyson to pick up the chicken they donated for us, and then to Lake Ouachita later that day to see friends who were camped there.  

On Friday, we went to Hot Springs to get the rest of the groceries we would need for the fundraising dinner.  Mom, Tex, and I got everything we needed and headed back to Sims and Oden.  Then, my friends Priscilla and Dessie met Tex and me at the school cafeteria so we could start preparing the sauces we needed for Saturday.  We brought along our I-pods and got to work chopping onions, garlic & shallots to use in the sauces.

Tex & the chicken...All of the chicken!

Don't steal Pris' job!!

Me, about to check on the vodka sauce
We got up Saturday morning and went to the school to make all of the rest of the food.  We were expecting about 125 people to show up for the dinner, and we were pretty close on our guess.  We totally overestimated how much those 125 people would eat, however, and cooked enough food for about 300 people!!! I totally can cook for an army!  

Some of my very best friends came down to help us raise money for the scholarship, and this was a very successful venture.  I received a check in the mail today from one of my friends who was unable to attend and his donation put out total right at $6,000!!! 
me & Jimmy at the dinner.  He's one of my very favorite people in the whole world!

Tex and me...the cooks!
The great thing about having grown up in a small town is the true sense of community that doesn't exist in large towns or cities.  Everyone knew Justin down here and came out to visit and have some food with friends.  A few of the soldiers who served with Justin in the ARMY came down to Arkansas for the dinner as well.  We had guys from Wisconsin and Texas drive all the way to help us keep Justin's scholarship alive!  

One of the guys rode my step-dad John's harley ( a 1994 heritage softail classic) up to the school so people could check it out.  It is called the Soldier bike and has a completely custom paint job.  It has members of John's family that were in the military, and it's just amazing to see.  John's nephew, Jeremy Salyer, is the artist.  He's incredible!

We had a great time with everyone and are so grateful for the community's support of the Justin M. Estes Memorial Scholarship.  We had a great turnout and are definitely making this an annual event!  Best Buy had a crew of 10 people come out to help us serve food and work wherever needed.  They are also making a donation once the corporate office checks their hours off!! Isn't that awesome?!?

Troy & Nathan helping in the kitchen

Me telling Christian where to have the best buy crew work

The 10 best buy crew members plus their General Manager!

Jimmy removing the center of the door so the Soldier bike could come inside!

The Soldier Bike


The line for dinner!

More of the line for dinner

Enjoying the feast

Mom & Me handing out raffle prizes

More prizes

Paul won!

Calling the numbers

Handing out the prizes again

Jess won the picture I took in Turkey!

Derinda, Priscilla, Brandy, Dessie, me, & Michelle

Us girls again!! Wonderful times!

After the dinner, my friends came back to Mom's house to drink beer unwind and visit.  We had SO much fun together!! I love going home and seeing all of my friends.  I LOVE y'all so much!!!

On Sunday, Tex, Shell, and I went to Hot Springs to have dinner and go out for a while. We went to the Big Chill and then to Longshot's and had a great time. I have a couple of pics from there, but I can't get them to load from my phone.  Grrrrrr....

On Monday, Tex and I left Arkansas and headed for Kentucky.  We visited with my Dad & his wife, my sister, nephew, and sister's boyfriend.  We forgot to take the camera along and didn't get pictures.  We've gotta get better about that!  We arrived about 2:30 am on Tuesday and stayed the night.  

We left Kentucky Wednesday morning to head back to New York.  We had a great trip and made great friends and memories.  I can't wait until I get to move back down to Arkansas for good!!  We drove a total of 3,300 miles on the whole trip and would do it again in a heartbeat.  Best roadtrip ever!!!  

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures of a great event!! You and Tex and all the helpers did a wonderful job for the scholarship. Justin would be so proud! I know he's smiling down on everyone who participated! Now to start planning next year's event...