Friday, December 07, 2007

Toys for Troops: An Announcement

Instead of telling each and every one of you separately, I'm just going to let you read the letter I got last week. Here it is:

Ms. Stewart,

Our office has recently learned about your efforts to support our troops overseas. Toys for Troops is well recognized across the state and has grown beanie baby after beanie baby.

To recognize your efforts in supporting our troops, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn would like to recognize you as a Homefront Hero. The Homefront Hero Award goes to everyday people (civilians) who are making the extra effort to help out our soldiers, military families and Veterans.

To celebrate, we will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, December 11th at the State Capitol in Springfield. The press conference will be at 1pm and last approximately an hour.

Get out! I'm going to the state capitol on Tuesday, isn't that wild? A press conference! I'm already trying to compose myself, and Hollywood's Fightin Mad Mary has sent me a ton of TV tips, as she promised she would if I ever had to face a camera again.

The letter stated that I'll be asked to say a few words about the organization. It's difficult to summarize it, when I feel that so many deserve so much credit.

So many point out to me, when I say that, "YOU did, this Lori. This is YOUR doing."

I know, I know I've done my part. I have e-mailed and blogged and written letters and shaken hands and hugged friends and strangers, and sacrificed a bit of space in my garage.

But others. Jeff and Michelle have driven all over the state helping out. Jeff picks up my graphics and runs to have them made into signs and posters. He made our t-shirts, and has represented us at public affairs that I have been unable to attend, and applied for charity grants to help us pay for shipping. It is their friends that stepped up, and voluntarily maintain our website, and print our banners and posters.

Clint gives up at least a couple evenings a week, if not all of them, on a regular basis, to this organization. He helps me fold cards and stuff envelopes. He's offered up the use of his covered trailer, picks up tables and coffee pots and food on his days off, and on more than one occasion The Boy has shoo'd me out of the kitchen so that I can get back to printing labels and letters, while he whips out dinner to die for.

Local Marine Mom and friend Chris Lyke rallies for us constantly, collecting soldier's names for our mailing list, and making homemade cookies for "our sons. Friends! Melissa's trunk is consistently refilled with beanies as coworkers leave them at her desk. John Otto! Our attorney! My God, where would we be without him, how tired he must be of my e-mails asking questions such as "Is the EIN the same thing as our tax number?" Another friend for a quarter-century, Steve printed 2-part receipts and delivered them to my house IN FREEZING RAIN last week, so that I'd have them for the packing event.

Man, I'm telling you...I'm just standing over here with a big old stick, pointing out what needs to be done, compared to the rest of you.

I did not do this alone. I never could have, not in a million years.

In 7 months, the joint efforts of parents, siblings, and spouses of soldiers, and real, live actual soldiers have done this. Teachers and attorneys and restauranteurs have done this. Television reporters and newspaper reporters and deejays have done this, side by side with veterans, girl scouts, boy scouts, police officer and firefighters. Friends and family and seamstresses and bakers and businessmen have stepped up.

Bloggers! Lord, let's not forget the bloggers! You've mailed beanies, and boxes and money and you've put the word out there for me. As Sammy Sosa said, "Blogging been very very good to me." (It was him that said that, right? I get my politicians all mixed up.)

Lordy, I get in a tizzy just thinking about it! I can't say all of THIS on Tuesday, we'll only have an hour, you know, and there are 9 other recipients that have to take a turn, and I suppose the Lt. Gov. will want to say a few words.

I'll keep working on that. And I'll wear blue, and no flashy jewelry, and I won't look into the camera..

....and if any of you can give me a tip on how to speak in public about something that is so, so dear to you, without turning into a blubbering...well, MOM, then I'd sure like to hear them.


  1. You deserve some recognition, congratulations! I'm inspired by your effort every day.

  2. I KINDA SORTA KNOW YOU!!!!!!!!! And am very proud to say (shout) so.

    As for the post...yes, yes and yes. Others are hugely involved. Others made this take off like mad. And yet it is you, dear GNGirl, who would *still* be doing it, even if it hadn't exploded this way. And that's the difference. Say thank you to others. Recognize them. And take your own bows.

  3. ::: BRAVO :::

    Don't sell yourself short Lori, it has been a team effort, but YOUR brain child, YOUR endless devotion to it, YOUR the driving force that keeps it going. You deserve the honors ... and them some.

  4. Congratulations, Lori. Modesty becomes you, but everyone else knows you deserve all the praise you're getting. You're great. (But go ahead and deny it.)

  5. Yay, I'm so glad to hear about it, though Springfield's not generally an exciting place to visit. (No offense, but it's actually my hometown. :)) But if you're going and like Thai food, I'd highly recommend Magic Kitchen restaurant.

  6. Wow, that's so great! And yes, you totally deserve it. Congratulations!!

  7. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Congratulations on some well deserved recognition!

    As far as public speaking, I can only tell you NOT to imagine the audience naked.

  8. Why am I not surprised by this? Congrats. As far as public speaking goes, just be yourself. That's all the advice I have.

  9. Miz LIz9:12 AM

    KUDOS!!!! Just speak from your heart Lori - that huge heart of yours.

  10. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. You deserve recognition! Now go get your award- sit up straight and don't mumble.....

  12. You'll be amazing - you deserve every second of the glory!

  13. marinemom2:56 PM

    You didn't tell me you have tips on how to look good on TV. Do share since I'll be there too. I was thinking of wearing red, but maybe I should wear blue too. Do let me know! Will anyone be going with you? I'm part of a delegation, maybe I can hide in the back! Good work. Glad I will be there to cheer for you.

  14. A car is made up of many different, equally important parts, but it still needs gas to go. Step up and accept your award graciously, gnightgirl. You're a gas!

  15. mwoodywiz1:34 AM

    Hey Lori you deserve every bit of the notoriety and praise that you get, so don't be shy. And on behalf of this side of the family. YEEEEEHAAAAAAAH. I'm proud to call you my cousin. just have fun

  16. I blogged my thoughts:


    As far as public speaking goes? Talk about what you're passionate about. But don't talk about stuff that'll make you cry. When it's the same thing? Just make sure you have tissues available.

    Blowing nose bubbles never goes over well ;-)

  17. WOW!!! That is amazing! You go girl.

  18. Congratulations Lori. You so deserve this.

  19. Thanks, thanks, thanks everyone. Got the hankies, the waterproof mascara, the blue blouse, the speech tips, and a few notes ready to go. Whoo hoo!

    Yes. I'm nervous.

  20. That is so fantabulous! Congratulations! I know you'll do fine on TV.

  21. Breathe...pause...speak...

    Congrats!! You deserve this recognition for all your efforts!! I am so proud!

  22. I've been thinking about you all did it go????


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