Wonderful memory came up on FB plus fun tags from my friend Jodi SanJose. I was invited to be a dancer for the annual Long Beach Memorial Foundation’s Dancing FOR Our Stars. TEN Year anniversary this weekend! Wow!
A gala event to raise money and the year I danced it was for the cardiovascular department. A wonderful legend and hero, Dave San Jose, of our NLB community had just survived a massive stroke. He is such a gift to our city and a wonderful friend and mentors too! A second dad figure for certain! Thanks to the medical technology of this department along with doctors and nurses plus everyone in between he recovered. Plus Dave is one of the strongest people I know!
What was curious about Dave’s healing and recovery is that some critical machines had to be loaned to a memorial from another hospital! If we did not have this one that basically freezes the body, Dave might not have done so well in healing. In hearing this, I was able to ask to earmark part of the money they raised from their event to buy their own machines for our own local hospital.
Before I knew it, I was one of the dancers! I really loved the training and I’ll admit the challenges it presented to me. Took my workouts to another level, pushed my comfort levels over the edge, by getting ready to dance in front of 750 people, plus the urgency to raise money! A lot of money that year as a matter of fact. Plus work nonstop and never miss a beat!
It was hard work, and true to my style, I gave it my ALL.
This was ten years ago and it's amazing how time flies. My parents were thrilled to be a part of my journey and I had a great list of friends and supporters too. People I never met, read about me and donated to the campaign! Amazing!
Sadly though, had some haters afterward. Not much more than jealousy and so when people ask me, “when did all this hate start in this world,” I either reply or think “ten years ago.” Why do I even bother mentioning this? Because I feel, social media often has people posting all the fun and joy of a situation. Not everything is easy and not everything pays back positively for good deeds. Yet the lesson is "you do good anyway!"
I can write a story in more detail about this all and I will, but I’ll save that for later. Until then, I will cherish these happy memories, be proud of my dedication to the cause by learning salsa, contributing to raising money for medical technologies to save more lives, and the mere fact that I showed up! Day in day out, inconvenience or not! I even experienced bloody feet just like on the real show of Dancing WITH Our Stars. Instead of quitting or taking time off, I pushed through the pain!
I actually learned a lot about myself in this process. Made it fun through the trials and tribulations too.
What I know now, is that looking back on it, I'm blessed by the amazing time I had and all the incredible people I met through it. I realize what a blessing of personal lessons too! I kept dancing and kept being a part of something bigger than me. I am forever grateful.
Here’s my original post mention: Both my mom and my dad were so happy I did this event! I actually felt they were more thrilled about this dance event than some of my college degrees. Lol Joking aside, glad I could share it with friends, supporters, and most of all my parents! Thank you ALL who contributed to the success of this special charity night and to my positive experience. I had the BEST and MOST fun dance instructor too! Evan Swenson- You are the BEST!