Helaine just called from Atlantic City. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. For the first time in over a week she was calm, collected, smiling.
Here’s the back story. Helaine and Steffie are big fans of Rick Springfield. You remember Rick Springfield: Jessie’s Girl, Don’t Talk To Strangers, Dr. Noah Drake from General Hospital.
With a huge dollop of help from the Internet, Springfield is able to tour the country, mostly on weekends, filling nice sized venues. A significant percentage of each show is filled with his most rabid fans. These are people who can sing the songs and have probably memorized the set list.
Stef and Helaine try and catch his shows whenever they can, usually a half dozen or more times a year.
Though Helaine is active in his ‘fan world¹’, she isn’t an officer or board member of anything official. She’s just a fan… an active fan.
As a fan, Helaine knows about Sahara, who with her mother are also fans from Cape Girardeau, MO. Sahara has cancer of the brain stem.
No explanation is necessary. It’s as horrible as it sounds… and Sahara has not quite entered her teens.
Helaine thought it might be a nice idea to help the family by throwing a fundraiser… and that’s what she did, just a few hours ago at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.
It’s not easy organizing a luncheon for 125 woman when you’re three or four hours from the luncheon site. Helaine rounded up items to be auctioned (you have no idea how much Rick Springfield stuff is available on EBay)², arranged for the room and its fixings, dispensed the luncheon tickets and got a commitment from Rick Springfield to show as a special, unannounced but hinted at, guest.
One afternoon, she sat me down with Photoshop to design a “Love for Sahara” logo, which was then printed on buttons. Gotta love the Internet!
As the luncheon got closer, Helaine got a little more antsy. Had she remembered everything? Would Harrah’s provide what she’d requested? What would go wrong?
Let me answer that last part first: Nothing! It all worked perfectly.
Helaine and Steffie, along with Stef’s sorority “Big Sister” and a few other friends, executed Helaine’s wonderful plan. The food was great. The venue perfectly set. The auction a total success.
The numbers aren’t finalized, but when all is said and done, somewhere around $11,000 will find its way to Sahara’s family. I’m sure, with everything that’s going on, the money will help.
I never had any doubt Helaine could pull this off. She very organized and very smart. More importantly, I’m proud of her big heart and compassion.
A room service sandwich is on its way to her hotel room. She threw a luncheon and never had time to eat.
Right now she’s feeling relief… and pride.
¹- I refer to Rick Springfield’s fan base as the “Rickdom,” which upsets Helaine to no end.
» – My personal thanks to Regis & Kelli and Rachael Ray. Working for an affiliate, I asked for and received tickets to both shows, which were then auctioned off.
Blogger’s note: The original entry has been edited to correct Sahara’s age, which is 12.