benefit 2013 and beyond…

I don’t usually post blogs on the weekends, as everyone tends to use these days (especially in the summer) to unplug from email, Facebook and their phones. But today, I can’t get all of you out of my mind – and so I thought I would share some thoughts from our family to yours.

Three years ago when we launched Ben Towne Foundation, all we had was a website and a date: September 10, 2010. We asked if you would please join us at our Launch Celebration. The morning registration went live, Jeff, Kristen and I sat anxiously at our computers around our dining room table. We felt a mixture of excitement, anticipation and also slight nausea – for we had no idea what we were doing and we wondered if anyone would want to attend besides our parents. Much to our delight and surprise registrations started trickling in. They continued to do so over those initial summer weeks in 2010 until we filled the Metropolitan Ball Room at the Seattle Sheraton with 500+ people. The following year, we bravely booked the Sheraton Grand Ballroom hoping that our event would grow. 850 of you helped us do just that. Then last year, we stood in front of so many of you in disbelief – we had 1100 people at our benefit – it was incredible!

Fast forward and now here we find ourselves in the thick of 2013. It has been a whirlwind year of excitement, growth and change – all because of you. You have done as we asked and hoped you would – you have helped us tell this story. And in doing so, you have become part of it. You have gathered your friends, your families and your businesses and said; “Check out what is happening at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.” And because of you, our heads have been spinning (in a good way). There is such incredible momentum and we feel like we are being boldly taken into new territory – Ben Towne Foundation 2.0 if you will.

The only downside to all of this good news is that event planning takes a long time – dates must be secured sometimes years ahead. So here we find ourselves about to open up registration for our benefit 2013, knowing that we will not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to come. And that does not feel good. We want everyone who wants to be a part of Ben Towne Foundation to always feel welcome and wanted at our events. So here is what we want you to know from our family to yours:

2014 is coming and we will have room for everyone. There will be no wait list. We are already at work on our 2014 events, looking ahead and we will be prepared. So please hang in there with us as we move through these amazing growing pains. I wish it were as simple as putting on sweat pants! You are all very important to us and we grateful for the incredible ways in which you are helping us move forward.

In the meantime, registration for our benefit 2013 will begin tomorrow at 10am on our website. We expect it to fill very quickly and we are excited to host as many people as the fire department will allow us to have on Friday, September 27th!