Monday, July 13, 2009

CRUISING to the end

I am nearing my last month at Starlight... which means only a month left to enjoy the Chicago sights without additional travel expenses. At least now I know some attraction locations and when I do return for a visit, I will have some street knowledge. If you decide you want to visit and are interested in the downtown "loop" area, let me know. I can either tell you things or lend you a map to help you get around. It's actually not as complicated as it presumes to be. You just have to know the system. :)

Last week is a blur... all I know is that we were preparing for our annual Cruise which took place yesterday (sunday july 12) at Navy Pier. We took the Odyssey boat on Lake Michigan and travelled with 382 kids and their families for about two hours on the water. It was GREAT fun, for both the families and Starlight staff and CNA (local insurance company) volunteers. We left at 3:30pm and arrived back to the dock at 5:30. I had forgotten my camera but snapped a few shots with my phone, which can be available to see on facebook. There was also a photographer who took some amazing shots so once we get those pictures back from her, I will snag what I can for my memory sake.

Part of our activity on the boat cruise included fun chicago themed worksheets, word searches and coloring pages. We also had a sheet of questions that the kids were to ask other starlight families, Starlight staff and CNA volunteers. We all had a blast learning about Chicago and each other. Odyssey has three levels and then a top 'observatory' deck, and while I was assigned to the top level, I roamed each floor, dancing to music with the kids, meeting guests and enjoying the sun and sights. Time went by fast and soon we were back on the shore, cleaning up.

Future events for me include a tour of Eli's Cheesecake (july 26), the event I will put on (TBA) and possibly another one at an IMAX theatre (Aug 9), sponsored by Starlight's board president. Soon, I will be back in Michigan.

As you think of it, pray for my health, as it seems to be suffering a little by stress. And also pray that I am able to find a job back in MI. There is a lot that goes into that process and I am only at the beginning of my search.

Thanks for reading... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

GREAT Escapes

Wow! What a week! And it's been just that. A week... full of fun and activity! I attended two Great Escapes Events with Starlight Kids. One was a bowling event last Friday and another was a Red Stars Women Soccer game tonight!! :)

Friday June 26, around 2, two other Starlight staff and I went to a bowling alley called Waveland bowl to get set up and welcome families. From there we helped register families, my first time meeting most of the families and it was great to finally see the people I've connected with by phone. I enjoyed seeing the joy on the kids and families' faces as they bowled. We were there during the cosmic bowling time too, so that meant black lights and fun music to jazz up the afternoon.

The weekend was spent with James in Algonquin at his Aunt and Uncle's house. Only his Aunt and one cousin were there and we had a blast going to a barnyard zoo, eating at TGI Fridays, walking, talking and enjoying the nice weather! The time sure went fast though!

The beginning of this week was ok, nothing too new at the office. Just finishing up projects here and there. Today, I worked in anticipation for 8.5 hrs and then headed off with the Event coordinator to Toyota Park for a Red Stars Soccer game. It was neat because neither the other Starlight staff or I had ever been and the game staff there were VERY helpful and welcoming. Even though we had decent seats, we got better ones.... With two Starlight children in wheelchairs, We were able to sit RIGHT BY the Red Stars bench and practically ON the field!! This was a really fun accomodation and we had front row seats to a WINNING GAME against Washington Freedom!!! The kids were extremely excited and were able to meet some of the players after-- and so did I! I felt like a kid again and was just as excited as the children and families. As we were leaving, the staff asked us to come again anytime. I hope it works out and maybe I will be able to be a part of this great event too! Being a support and help to these families, just by being with them, smiling and offering a hand, means the world to them-- and me. I am looking forward to more events with the Starlight kids and families. In a couple weeks I will get to take part in one of the BIGGEST events for Starlight-- the CRUISE.

In the meantime, I am back to the office to plan and prepare.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue to learn and grow from this internship!