It’s 12:30 in the morning on Monday, February 24th and I’ve spent the past 7 hours taking a “nap” after the 2019 Spare Key Groove Gala.
This is my first post on my new blog site https://goodpeopledoinggoodthings.blog and it’s appropriate given that http://www.sparekey.org has just concluded the past 6 months of work that led to more than 900 guests attending a non-profit Gala event that likely hasn’t been seen before in the Twin Cities.
I am tired. My feet are sore. I’m pretty sure the ache in my lower back is a combination of old age, too many pounds in my gut and spending hours moving silent auction items from one location to another.
But, it’s a good tired. A complete tired. One that comes from knowing that we put everything we had into an event that was not just about raising money but about creating hope for thousands of families who desperately need help to “Bounce and not Break.”
The Spare Key Team — Kristi Beaudry, Angela Cooperman, Abby Hunt, Jackson Larson and Jackie Le Vvintre — are wholly responsible for the success of this event.
Never before had they done this event. They had a leader who could give advice, give perspective and offer support, encouragement and institutional memory, but he couldn’t do the work.
And, the end result of that was an event that didn’t just raise a lot of money, but it raised the spirits of 900 guests and, before the year is done, the hopes of thousands of families who are facing a medical crisis and are desperate for someone to support them in their time of need.
There are so many moments from the 2019 Groove Gala that stand out in my mind it is hard to recall them.
The grace, support and determination of Spare Key’s Board President Cindy Koebele, and the financial support of her company, TitleSmart, is beyond compare. Cindy doesn’t just talk about what she will do — she does it
In a world dominated more and more who equate “support” with a tweet, Instagram post and a picture on Facebook, Cindy reminds us that you should “do what you said you were going to do.”
Spare Key’s Board of Directors, our Sponsors and the hundreds of volunteers who brought us to the moment and more — simply remarkable.
Justice Draconis and Angela Higgins of https://www.dragonslairperformingarts.com/ epitomize the fine art of living one’s art. What they do and how they do it makes one want to climb a mountain, breathe fire, spin from the ceiling and defy gravity — both in the air and on the ground.
The talented men, women and children of https://lundstrum.org/ created moments at the Spare Key Groove Gala that brought us to our feet, tears to our eyes and a thrill to our hearts. I am still smiling from what I saw, heard and felt because of their joyous talent and performance.
And, if the http://www.johnnyholm.com/ band doesn’t remind you that music and dancing are the reasons we live to be human then I don’t know what to tell you. Johnny and his band have been a gift of joy for millions of people over the years — and for the nearly 400 guests who stayed to dance until 1:00 a.m. they gave young and old hours of pure ecstasy.
And, the moment for me that reminded me why I do what I do, and what I have done for the past 7 years, came just when I needed it.
It was the moment my dear friend, the person who has taught me more about what it means to be resilient, to be dedicated, to be fierce and to be hopeful despite all else that might take hope away, came when Norm Coleman ascended the stage towards the end of the evening.
Norm, as many of you know, is in his second fight with cancer. Surrounding him has been an army of friends and family who have fought alongside him, supported him, prayed with and for him and given him their unconditional love and commitment.
As he stood on stage, emphasizing that what matters the most to all of us in this world is not the amount of money we raise at a Gala, or the size of the donation.
What matters the most is time.
At a moment of emphasizing that message along came many of those who had spent 5 weeks giving Norm that gift of time. Men and women — family and friends — who came forward to surround him and let him know that their gift of time to him was their gift of love.
I am tired. As I sit in the dark downstairs, illuminated only by the light on my laptop, after falling asleep on the couch with my smelly, chubby, snoring dog at my feet and my wife and kids tucked in upstairs for the night, I know that tomorrow begins another day.
I will spend hours unloading, loading and unloading again the final remnants of the 2019 Spare Key Groove Gala.
I will be asked, time and time again, how much money did we raise, did we raise more or less than the year before. We will review what went well, and what needs to be improved, and each of the Spare Key Team will have stories to tell of the evening.
This much I know to be true – we raised a lot of money for the 2019 Groove Gala — we had a record attendance — record number of sponsors — and an event the likes of which many have never seen before.
To me, though, what matters the most is that what was in that room were hundreds of Good People Doing Good Things.
And, the conclusion of the 2019 Spare Key Groove Gala wasn’t the end of Good People Doing Good Things.
It’s just another beginning.
And, where does one begin to share all about them?