I've been kind of sad lately because I haven't been able to get out to as many events as I'd like to. Usually I'm always "somewhere" doing "something" but my financial circumstances as of late haven't really allowed for that. I'm not sad about missing events, because really I'm kind of an anti-social person and event hopping isn't what I'm about. I'm sad because I can't give financially the way I want to to all the people and causes I care about. In my mind when I'm going to these events I'm not being a "socialite" (something that a lot of people commonly refer to me as)--I'm being a philanthropist. Until I get that Oprah-type money, my little 10, 15, 30 I spend to go to an event is the best I can do--so I do it.
Most of my friends are great people doing great things, so they'll always have my support, no matter if it's a bake sale, a toy drive or buying a ticket to watch paint dry to help raise funds for people addicted to watching paint dry. One of my great friends doing great things is Glenn Murray over at 220 Communications. 220 is always doing events and giving back in support of a cause, but there's something extra special about his upcoming event on June 10, Pampering for a Purpose.
Last night, Glenn sent an email with an article attached about why he's so passionate about making Pampering for a Purpose a successful event. So many people are throwing parties just to throw a party and hold events just to make money, but not Glenn. Hosting this event is much deeper for him. His article touched me and so I'm sharing it, praying it touches you too. Or at the very least, makes you think about the types of events and products you support with your dollars. Spend money with a purpose. I also pray that his story inspires you to take time to really cherish the people in your life. All we have is NOW, so don't wait until later or until tomorrow because those moments are not promised to any of us.
Pampering For A Purpose and The Fight Against Diabetes
By Glenn Murray
The text read "I am so blessed to have you as a friend." I honestly didn't think much of it. I was having the time of my life. I was in Orlando attending game 5 of the NBA finals. I was there to root on my Lakers to a commanding lead in their series with the Magic. I had made it, number 2 on my ultimate guys sports fantasy list. It was with the person who sent the text, my friend Maurice Gilkey (his friends called him "Mo") , that I was able to share number three on the list--attending a world series game.
I texted him about where I was and told him we'd make it to next year's final together and eventually to our ultimate goal, the Super Bowl. But it wasn't to be. Three weeks later Mo was found dead in his apartment of undetected diabetes.
His death was the culmination of 7 months of loss in 2009, starting with another close friend from breast cancer, my half -sister's mother and my grandfather, and just when I was getting my bearings, I received the call that late June morning that Mo was gone. I thought it was a dream or at least it seemed like one. For the past 13 years, since we moved to Chicago from Louisville, KY (where we met) within a few weeks of each other we had gone through so many ups and downs. The ups were the aforementioned sporting events. It was Mo who was there watching game two of the World Series in the rain with me as the White Sox were sweeping the Astros. It was Mo who was there when I scored courtside Bulls tickets for myself, him and our friend Thad. It was Mo and I hanging out Sundays watching football all day and spending the day at a bar watching the first round NCAA Basketball tournament games.
I wish I would have taken a closer look at the text, maybe called to see how he was doing, I remember a brief conversation later that week telling him to get back to Chicago and do the things he loved (he was working on assignment in Dallas).He sounded stressed, but Mo always was fretting over something. He was genuine in his concern for people and about life. He bought his dream house and spent years convincing me that I should stop renting (I finally did last year and I think no one was happier than him). He loved his family and he desperately wanted his own. I think that may have been the hardest thing for me to deal with after his death. Here I was happy to be single and carefree and he prayed and wished for the ability to impact lives by being the head of a loving caring household. He wanted so bad to be the man that found a great woman and raised well rounded children.
At first, I was angry with him for not taking care of what were obvious signs of something going wrong (severe weight loss was the most visible, as he had dropped nearly 70 pounds) but waiting on healthcare to kick in at his new job kept him from visiting the doctor. It was me constantly asking why. Why didn't he call me and ask for the money? Why didn't he listen to family who implored him to go to the doctor? The things that make men great and strong are sometimes the things that make us more vulnerable to what can eventually lead to deadly consequences. We think with our heads but ignore the rest of our body and the signs it gives off. Mo believed he could hold out, that it wasn't serious and that all would be well. Diabetes is not a disease that waits.
So, that's why we have dedicated the event to the memory of Maurice and to those who are still fighting. Also for those who are showing symptoms and are not finding out what is wrong. I have come to the conclusion that I'm here to help tell Mo's story and make sure no one else has to write an article like this. Our friends and family are our most precious assets. We must do all we can to keep them healthy because the memories, as great as they are, can never replace them actually being here with us.
*Reprinted by permission.
If you are interested in learning more about the Pampering for a Purpose event or would like to support with a ticket purchase, please visit http://pamperingforapurpose.eventbrite.com/