I love event planning. I love the gears in motion, the balls in the air, the pieces of the puzzle fitting together to make a great event. I love helping my clients by reducing their stress, providing support, easing overwhelm and anxiety. I love partnering with vendors, creating relationships, and helping to make memories. I find my work satisfying and I am thankful.
Once in a while, however, my work is even more rewarding than usual. In the past six years of owning my own business, I have had this extra special feeling a handful of times. Planning charity events for non-profits has always been extra-special for me. One of my previous jobs was to plan fundraising events for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so I enjoy that kind of work. Since starting Pine Hill Events, I have planned many events for non-profits (paid work and as a volunteer) and raising awareness and money for worthy causes still moves me.
But even more moving are events for individuals who are struggling in some way and still want to celebrate. A few years ago I was honored to be the planner for the marriage of Kim and Frank via the great organization Wish Upon a Wedding. Frank and Kim both had cancer and didn’t know how much time they would have left together. I coordinated the vendors (who also generously donated their time and talent), listened to Kim and Frank’s wants and needs, and helped make their dream wedding come to life. Here’s a link to the video of their engagement shoot. They were a fun couple and sadly, Frank passed about a year after they were married. I still keep in touch with Kim.
One weekend last summer, my heart was touched again. Pat wanted to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary to Frank. Frank has ALS and she wanted to have a party to thank those friends, family and neighbors who have been so good to them during this difficult time. Confined to a wheelchair, Frank could still eat and could still speak. So having this get-together before his decline worsened even more was important. We had the party in a lovely multi-purpose room at Frank’s care center. Pat enlarged a picture of them on their wedding day. Their daughter brought music of the era and flowers similar to those her mom carried in her bouquet. They ate their favorite food from a local restaurant. They drank cocktails in the afternoon and laughed. They smiled and celebrated a milestone with those they love, knowing that the future will be difficult.
I love event planning. And when my skills can be used to do even more - to touch deeper, to smile wider, to laugh harder – in the face of uncertainty and adversity, I love it more profoundly and more passionately. Cheers to the Kims and Franks and Franks and Pats. Cheers to love!