Last Saturday night I attended a fundraising event for a friend of my mom’s who has brain cancer. He’s a young, 36 year old man; a father, husband, brother, son, and a good friend to many as evidenced by what I witnessed at the event. A few of his friends decided to step up last fall when they found out insurance covered only a portion of his treatments and the family was faced with crushing medical costs. These friends established the Cullina Family Benefit Fund and planned the Bull Roast & Silent Auction fundraising event.
It was amazing and uplifting to see the outpouring of donations and support for this family who have gone through so much in the past six years. In addition to the overwhelming strength, courage and gratitude of the Cullina family themselves, the room was filled with a powerful energy mix of the gratitude, generosity, love and caring of the more than 325 people in attendance and you could feel it. The evening also was filled with fun, laughter and lightheartedness despite the seriousness of the reason for the event and despite that there was some very serious battling over many items in the silent auction! Friends, some of whom hadn’t seen each other for years, reminisced and caught up on new happenings like at a reunion.
Not to diminish the contributions of every person who participated, donated, bid, purchased, attended or supported in some other way because it wouldn’t have happened without the generosity of each one of them, but really the power of the intention of just a few people who were determined to make a difference brought this to fruition. I think we sometimes forget that we can do amazing things if we’d only try.
We received a notice the other day that the Benefit Fund has raised $41,000 and is still open and receiving donations through any PNC Bank. Again, I was amazed at what had been accomplished. I still don’t know how far this will go as cancer treatments are ridiculously expensive in my opinion, but I do know I’m somewhat changed for having attended, witnessed and shared in the love and support shown at this event and I won’t forget it.
If you’d like to know more, Jeff’s story can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jeffreycullina/journal and the Benefit Fund & the event can be found on its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cullina-Family-Benefit/214882505246996.