Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bluebird Benefit: Where There's A Will, There's A Way

Last Saturday night was an absolutely amazing night!  The dad of a friend of mine from high school saw that my brother was raising money for this high-tech bed that will turn him at night (so that he can sleep and be painfree...and his caregivers can get some sleep as well) and offered to coordinate a benefit at The Bluebird Café!  It had been a few months in the making, and man oh man was it worth the wait! 
Four different songwriters were in the round and went around and performed some of their songs that had become hits with various country artists.  And The Bluebird is such an intimate experience anyway - I think there were 101 people there last weekend.  My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.  And the whole feel of the room was amazing! 
They started off the show reading something about Will that my mom put together so that the audience that just showed up on a random Saturday night knew what they were getting themselves into.  And then they said to throw money as the audience felt led.  So throughout the entire show, money was being thrown to the middle of the room.  All for this bed for Will.  And various people made donations.  And there were several items auctioned off.  And it was the most fun we had all had in quite some time!
Here I am with Will waiting to go in.  Excuse his half-shut eyes.  The dude NEVER keeps his eyes open in pictures with me!
 We tried again inside and had a little bit better luck!
 And this was on each table...the only thing that was different was that Shane McAnally was sick, so JT Harding participated instead!
 And I do believe I have a similar picture from when we were in probably 8th grade or so.  Oh these guys.  Andrew, Justin, Beau, and myself.  So much fun to see them!  And a huge thanks to Justin and his dad for putting this all together.  And for Andrew kicking in some $$$ for Justin to take his shirt off and dance around the room.  I am sure the folks that just showed up had no idea they would be apart of that experience! HA!  And I got to meet Justin's fiancée too - such a sweetheart!
 And the songwriters set up and performing in the middle...
 And the "rain money" - this was all wadded up piled of cash to go towards Will's bed!  I know it took my mom a few hours to count it because it was folded into paper airplanes, wadded up teeny tiny, etc.  The generosity of that evening left my whole family speechless...
 And a picture with Brad in front of the iconic Bluebird Café!
I was talking to a woman who happened to be one of the songwriters' mother-in-law after the show and she told me she had been going to various venues to see him play for more than 16 years.  And of all the shows she had seen, this was the  most amazing.  That she had never been in a room that felt so magical and in the moment and entertaining.  And I couldn't have said it better myself. 
If you want to learn more about Will's bed and his effort to raise money, visit the website {here}!
And here is the piece that Justin read about Will at the beginning of the show...
Nashville’s own Will Ferrell bears a striking resemblance to the renowned comedic genius in several notable ways - - - his amazing smile, good looks, and sense of humor.  But, in truth, he is far more akin to his most admired genius, Stephen Hawkings.  He is an insatiable techie genius in all things computer.  He has been recognized all of his life for his academic achievements, community service, odds-defying accomplishments, and WILLPOWER!
Our 26-year-old Will Ferrell graduated National Honor Society from Hillsboro High School, served as a Warner Park intern, was named one of The Tennessean’s “Top 40 Under 40” at age 16, received a newly established youth award from Nashville’s Mayor Purcell, and served on an influential committee for Mayors Purcell and Dean for six years.  He has raised funds for local, national, and international causes, sponsored friends on mission trips, and donated refurbished computer equipment to outreach ministries and individuals in need.  He has achieved five levels of computer certification since high school.  His ten-year-old home-based technology project WILLPOWER was recently renamed WILLPOWER and More since his focus is ever broadening. He has been the subject of mini documentaries, print media, and local newscasts.
Did I mention that he just happens to have severe quadriplegia cerebral palsy?
Will was born very prematurely and his initial prognosis was not encouraging.  He has spent his whole life proving the naysayers wrong.  His profound faith, loving community of support, and focus on making a difference in the lives of others, make him extraordinary.  He is WILLPOWER and More.