Monday, February 7, 2011

A Birthday Celebration to Begin a Charitable Legacy

{a brilliant night to begin a journey}

Although I have said that it was the occasion of my 40th birthday that really started this project...I think it is something that has been brewing inside me for a while.  I think we are all, at some point in our lives, looking for the meaning, the purpose, the "what am I here to do?"  We might think about it from time to time but then its gone, a fleeting thought.  

{all photos captured by Partridge Photography}

Initially I thought about how I wanted to celebrate the birthday.  I didn't have an issue with turning 40, but I do like to take things over the top a bit! :)  I could feel the planning of a party coming on!  Then I started to think about how I could touch the lives of women around the world also born in the year 1970.  There were lots of thoughts and ideas constantly swirling around in my head...then in September 2010 we were invited as a family to an IWK Health Centre Foundation Open House (the IWK is the health centre/hospital in Halifax serving women, children and families throughout the Maritimes).  They showed a video talking about the Women's Health Centre, its benefits, etc.  Blythe, my 9 year old daughter, leaned over to me during that video and said "Why don't you do something with that for your birthday...then its local?"  

An idea was born!  There were lots of conversations right away with contacts at the Foundation.  I have to thank Lesley for her help in leading me through the initial steps.  Sometimes its the conversations in the hallways that make the biggest impact.  Since we started fundraising for the IWK about 3 years ago, we have worked with our trusted representative, Shiv.   Shiv knew that I wanted an experience...a journey...something that would get me involved beyond signing the cheque.   We came up with the idea of an Endowment Fund, something that would continue to give back year after year.  And knowing that I was planning a 40th celebration to take things "over the top", it was only fitting that guests be asked to make a donation to the O'Connor Family Endowment Fund, in lieu of gifts.  We matched every donation made to the Fund and I am so happy to tell you that currently the Fund totals $17, 324!  The generosity of our close friends and family was helped begin a charitable legacy.

December 31st, 2010....a 40th birthday celebration, New Year's Eve!
What more could you ask for!  

FRED....the location for a brilliant night 
Champagne...a drink to toast the night away say a thousand words

It was over a cappuccino at my all time favorite coffee shop, the Smiling Goat, that Shiv helped me bring all my swirling thoughts to a light bulb moment!  It was actually Shiv that threw out the words "40 charitable acts!"  We had no idea where this would go!!

More details about the party coming soon!  So many helped make it a night to remember, they deserve a special thank you!!

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