I wish I could have been there, but I'm still happy to share this information second hand and I really appreciate all of the photos/words I've received about the event. THANK YOU! Isn't Heidelberg's Education Department amazing?!! Our deepest thanks to Dr. Lori Arnold-Grine and her Junior Education Students for hosting a fifth annual stand to raise money for pediatric cancer research through "Alex's Lemonade Fund". According to Shayla's chatter, Shayne's reflections and Lori's emails, it's confirmed! Shayla had an absolute ball! We were really surprised to see the event up on the college's homepage too. http://www.heidelberg.edu/node/2272 (or click the blue link above). (Shayla likes that they said she was "10"!)
Shayla sold lemonade to her grandma Nonee. (Thanks Mom for getting her to campus for me!! I hope the fire drill we were having at school didn't "freak you out". I was out back with my students, but wondering where you were since I told you to get her then and had no idea there was a drill planned, sorry Mom! I hope your heart didn't fall.)
Dr. Lori, far left, with some of her students. (THANKS, Lori!)
Here's some insight from Lori: Shayla wanted them to ask questions, and THE STUDENTS were being kind of shy. She told them they weren't very good at asking questions and proceeded to CALL on individuals to speak up! It was hilarious! Of course, she had quite a lot to say! I was telling Shayne how thankful I am to know that she has very vivid memories of times with Christi. It was so nice to have her there, as she brought some vitality back to the lemonade stand!
She insisted on pouring every cup, amidst playing with the Bridges students. She was like the social event leader and organized games on the lawn. What many people commented to me about was the "noise of children" on the campus lawn, which I feel provided the perfect backdrop for an education dept. event! It was as if we staged that with kids running around, laughing, screaming, etc.
I hope you like the pictures I took for you. If you see one of the sky, it's because there were two jet streams in the sky, like a sign - Christi & Alex. Also, as I was talking to Jill, a bee landed on her arm. She both got chills and tears immediately! It wasn't like "Ooh a bee!" but more like "Lori, there's a bee on my arm!" with this smile! Shayla was never hungry, as she was having too much fun! I am going to have my students reflect in class on Monday morning, so I will certainly share those with you.
I was able to tell Lori that I will be dropping off some doughnuts and juice for Monday morning to thank the students for their efforts. I also asked her to remind the students to apply for the $1,000 Christi Thomas memorial scholarship for a Heidelberg Junior Education Major this spring and that we've decided to make another $500 donation to Heidelberg's Education Department in Christi's memory. They always made Christi feel so special and I know there are items that they need for their students that they do not have the funding for so we hope this helps!
Shayne told me how Christi's Bridges friends all came to the stand and were so sweet playing with Shayla. He said he wondered how "odd" it was for them because the last time they were with Christi she was Shayla's size. He said at one point, one yelled to Shayla, "Christi!.......oh, I mean Shayla!" He said another went over and carefully examined the plaque with Christi's picture on the ground by the tree and then came running back to play. He said he knew they knew Shayla wasn't Christi, but yet it was almost like Christi was back and they could play as they once did.
We've yet to be able to muster up the courage to really return to that wonderful place - with fabulous staff and friends - where Christi attended on Fridays for her gifted instruction. It was so special to her, they always treated her incredibly well and we have great memories. One of my sister's friends is an artist and she, with the help of Christi's Bridges friends, painted a mural there with Christi's favorite things. While I've seen pictures, I've yet to be able to go as that is just "over the top" and will be so hard to see. Shayne thinks he's now ready to go back, I'm not so certain I can do that - yet.
We continued on with our weekend dropping Shayla off at Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff's and proceeding down to Ohio State to the College of Education's Scholarship Tea where over $1 million in scholarships and fellowships were awarded late Friday afternoon. I received the Harold C. Miles Graduate Fellowship - a $1,000 award for a doctoral student studying early or middle childhood education. This will help with my tuition this year and I'm incredibly thankful! We were hoping that we'd be able to meet the donor's family and to learn more about Harold C. Miles; however, they were not in attendance.
From there, Shayne dropped me off at my conference for National Board Certified Teachers for Friday night and Saturday morning and he met up with his cousin and attended a film festival on campus late Friday night. Saturday afternoon's game was a lot of fun! (And now that our seats for the rest of the season are in a much better location, that is grand too!) Also, Christi's friend that moved to Columbus shortly after her death was at the game with her mom so I was happy to catch up with both of them. And you won't believe what happened to Shayla during her time with Aunt Marty! We received a call during the game and quite frankly, we're still shocked!