Classin’ it up for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis

I mentioned before that I attended the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s gala last week. I’ve been meaning to write about what a great experience it was, but I’m actually getting ready for a trip to Florida tomorrow, so I’ve had a lot of stuff packed into a short week and haven’t had the chance. So I’m catching up now!

Jarrod and Stephanie Hughes crohn's colitis foundation ccfa gourmet gala stolen colon ostomy blogFirst of all, I love events where I get to dress up a little more than normal (and when I can convince Jarrod to get dressed up, too!) Secondly, I love any way that I can support the Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis community, so this was the perfect opportunity!

I worked previously with our local CCFA representative on the Take Steps Walk earlier this year, so we’ve kept in touch. Last minute, her group of volunteers had to pull out because their daughter ended up having to go to the hospital due to a flare up, so she asked if I could help with some of the set up. We met up first thing that morning to transport everything over to the venue and get everything ready for the silent auction. That’s a much bigger task than it sounds!

We had to get nearly 100 different auction items set up all around the room, trying to spread items out and make it look nice, too. Then we had to number all of the items and make lists for it all. It took a long time, but we finally got it to where everything looked really lovely and well organized. I ended up staying until about 2:00, but had to leave then to have enough time to get ready and head back for the start of the event at 5:30.

We attended the Gourmet Gala with my sister and her husband and we shared a table with a friend of mine from the Take Steps Walk and her family. Since I was there to help set up, I was able to snag us a good table near the food!
gourmet gala ccfa crohn's colitis foundation event silent auction dinner stephanie hughes stolen colon ostomy blogThe event itself was beautiful. It was a lot of fun getting to see some old friends that I didn’t necessarily expect to see. But unfortunately, I got out-bid on all of my auction items.

The food was delicious! There were 15 different restaurants that were set up with appetizers and small dishes and desserts. I definitely ate too much, but how can you not when presented with so many amazing options?

On top of the silent auction, they always hold a live auction after dinner. The spokesperson for the night was John Forslund, who is the TV announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes. He introduced the Youth Ambassador for the evening, 11-year-old Gavin, who talked about what it’s like being a kid living with Crohn’s. (You can actually hear some of his speech on Youtube.) It reminded me of what it was like for me being about his age when I was first diagnosed. I don’t think I would have been brave enough to talk about it in front of 220 people though!

All in all, it was a great event and I’m glad that I was able to both help out and get to enjoy the evening with my family and friends. The event raised over $42,000 to go towards research on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and towards programs to help those of us living with these diseases! I’m also proud to be a part of a community that cares enough to pull off an event like this. I encourage you to attend or volunteer at a CCFA event in your area. It has been a very rewarding experience for me.

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