There are just some people who know how to gather amazing souls and my girl  is one of “them”. She has some of the best friends life has to offer out here and  they all came through with joyful noise last night at Ava’s fundraiser event.

part of Eric & Cheryl's back yard


more of their amazing house

Cheryl and Eric graciously opened their hearts, wallet and home to Ava’s cause.  Cheryl orchestrated the whole event as Hostess with the Mostest while Ava  recruited raffle prizes, silent auction items, attendees and entertainment. Eric  was our MC during the raffle and host with the most. Cheryl and Eric hadn’t  stopped when I left at 2 AM and the event started at 6:30PM! They are the  “Energizer Bunny” on steroids. I guess I used to be able to keep up that kinda’  pace but it’s not been in my recent past.

Jenni (Ava's friend) and Cheryl (hostess)

Jenni Kearns and Jeff Malecki worked tirelessly as bartenders at the open bar making sure  everyone had anything they wanted to drink. Fred Stone was our “Grill Daddy” and he was a master at his task. Fred, Jenni and Jeff all play wind instruments professionally. Jenni and Fred play the French Horn at various performances around Vegas-Baby including “Phantom at the Opera”. Jeff has just gotten his Ph.D. in conducting and has applied to teach at some colleges!

Jenni & Jeff tireless at two AM

Items donated for the raffle included entertainment tickets, original works of art  (Cheryl’s and Vital’s) Gift Certificates, Star Wars Movie Photo autographed  by Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew and other amazing items. For Silent  Auction,  Cirque du Soleil tickets for any show in the world and “Phantom of the  Opera”  autographed poster, backstage pass and tickets to the show. A big  “thanks” to  those contributors. Every item was a huge success!

Silent Auction and Raffle items exhibited

Marco Landin was our DJ who rocked the house until the break of day. Wow.  What a great guy who is married to an amazing lady, Heather Hyde de Landin, who performs a ballet number with fire. Thanks to you both for being who you are and  loving my girl so much.

DJ Marco Landin rocking the HOUSE!

The performers… oh my gosh… what can I say about the diverse and amazing  talent present for Ava’s cause. Carmen Woodruff sang jazz like you gotta’ pay money to hear. I haven’t heard good jazz like that since I was in Nawlins last. I sure hope someone recorded her. Reggie was kickin’ it on the keyboard for her. Sorry I don’t have a picture of her but I was still covering the front door!

Jill Martin after her naughty Burlesque number

Jill Martin sang a naughty parody Burlesque version of “Santa Baby” that  brought down the house! She exuded sheer 1950’s glamour (complete with  seamed stockings) coupled with modern-day fem fatale.

Left to right: Anastasia Synn (performed Muscle Piercing), Penny Wiggins (performed her comedic act), and Aimee Wade, dear friend and performer in her own right.

Anastasia Synn performed incredible muscle piercing that stopped the party in  its tracks. People sat in total silence in awe of her ability to perform such an  unusual talent. She was such a lovely person and appreciate her willingness to  add a great dimension to Ava’s event.

Penny Wiggins, comedian, kept the crowd going with her wonderful, unique  comedic slant with her St. Thomas, BVI upbringing. Next time you see her, ask  her to give you directions “island style” mon! She’s such a delightful, engaging  lady who opens her home to so many of us passing through (as she’s done for  me several times) and to those locals who are privileged enough to call her  “friend”. Thanks, Penny, for being such a good friend to Ava.

Fred Stone, in the bright yellow shirt, was our “Grill Daddy”! Thank you so  much, Fred, for cranking up the grill and getting everyone fed. In addition to his grilling talents, Fred plays a mean French Horn professionally.

Italian guests Alonzo and Charly

We had such an amazing cross-section of guests and nationalities present at  this party that would make the UN envious.

Landin and Heather

Bobby (from Ava's Apply IT days) and Kelly

Angela and Justin


And, to top off all the talent, Ava sang several arias with the accompaniment by  Michelle Lee on keyboard. After her performance, there wasn’t a person there  who doubted her talent or calling and thrilled to further contribute to her to  Austria for this intense opera program.

Ava performing

Ava singing

How in the world can Ava and I thank each and every one of those attending,  contributing, entertaining and providing venue? I have no idea except to say  that if ANY of  you are in northeast Georgia or any where in the vicinity of Atlanta (’cause I will come down there from the mountaintop) and you need ANYTHING, you call 1-800-MAMA and I’ll be there with bells on!