In Jamaica, a yard party is a traditional gathering of family and friends to celebrate life. This year’s annual fundraiser for Great Shape! Inc. had the same theme, and what a success it turned out to be! Over two hundred guests turned out for the annual event held in Ashland, Oregon. The combinations of the silent and live auctions raised around $20,000 to help curb the costs of the three projects (SuperKids, iCare, and 1000 Smiles) Great Shape! supports. Ninety-three cents of every dollar raised goes directly into the programs.
The festivities got started with a welcome speech from co-founders Gretchen Lee and Georgene Crow. They touched everyone’s hearts, greeting the guests and imparting good feelings: “thanks for your courage to step out, your commitment to our projects, and your willingness to illuminate with love.” A couple more speeches were given by 12 year old Tressanna, and 25 year old Richard from Jamaica who have experienced the impacts that Great Shape! have had in Jamaica. Great Shape! has provided a lot of opportunities for the people of Jamaica: school resources, education, training and employment, but most importantly, it has given the people of Jamaica a vision to dream of what can be. Even the auctioneer, Bryon Millard of Millard Auction Company felt the One Love spirit, thanking Lucinda Kay for introducing him to the program before live bidding started. We know he’ll be back when he told everyone “I met Lucinda and she told me that even I can be a humanitarian. I’ll be back every year to support Great Shape! ‘s projects.” Now that’s what we like to hear!
But the evening wasn’t always so tame. During the silent auction people were clamoring for a hand tailored skirt donated by artist Kay Knack, which turned into a slight pushing competition (don’t worry, no one was injured). At the Kids Caribbean Carnival, the children loved the Bun Bun cake walk and fishing. Things took a bit of a walk on the wild side as DJ King Thayo played some music, which lead into a dance party where young and old got out on the dance floor showing off their best dance moves. Check out some of his songs if you feel like dancing around sometime at http://www.myspace.com/thayo.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our amazing volunteers that make this event possible every year. A special shout-out to event chair Kate Wasserman, owner of the Oregon Institute of Aesthetics, who did an incredible job and really rocked it! Thanks to all of our sponsors as well: Alpenglow Productions, The Sandals Foundation , Anna Design, Summit Beverage , RoxyAnn Winery, Odom Corporation, Valley View Nursery, Cherry St. Meet, Davi Traister Floral Designs, Julie Schucard Designs, and Molly Ochoa. Finally, thanks to all those who came out and made this such a memorable event!!
Amazing work this year everyone! Can’t wait to see where next year will take us! One Love!