We are still digesting the amazing community support we received last weekend. My morning started early, of course, as I woke up reviewing a mental checklist of all I needed to make sure of. I was sipping a latte when my phone started going off with a FaceTime request from Jon Cetrano, one of the owners of Streetcar 82. His face was grim. “I have very very very bad news. We have to cancel…” and he spun his phone around to show me.
A water main broke and due to the lack of water, it was not possible for us to host the event due to health and safety codes for bathrooms required. Of course this would have to happen on the morning of my event that we had planned for months, people flew in for, drove hours for, and mere hours before the event, we lost the venue. Great. Now what?! My first reaction was…. we are not cancelling. The party must go on. We will find another venue.
A flurry of group text messages followed with several different people investigating several different venues — on a Sunday morning! (a shout-out to awesome Gallaudet folks – GIEI director Ryan Maliszewski and Chief of Staff Heather Harker for their support!) Fortunately Jon was able to work his network of local breweries, and the absolutely phenomenal, amazing, awesome, and stupendous folks at Red Bear Brewery (especially owner Bryan) graciously and quite literally saved our event. Go check them out and give them your support- they’re Deaf-friendly. Our CHAMP team came through flawlessly and helped us relocate everything with T minus two hours to the event.
We hosted over 500 people, and sold over a thousand raffle tickets. We released our Kickstarter yesterday, and have had an amazing beginning, with over 70% funding in 24 hours. This whole experience was incredible, a real testament to the power of community, and in supporting one another. We truly believe that when we help others, we all rise, and we are so inspired by the support we are receiving.
Thank you all.