This past Saturday was a magical one for Kate’s Club. 620 of our supporters gathered at the Loews Atlanta Hotel to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. We remain overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests. That evening we were able to raise over $240,000 that will go directly to Kate’s Club programs. Simply amazing.
One highlight of the evening was the remarks by our Spirit of Kate’s Club honorees, Stacey + Bert Weiss, Ceasar Mitchell, Isha Sesay and Kwanza Hall. They reinforced the need for the services that Kate’s Club provides and reminded us that grief is a journey.
Stacey + Bert Weiss founded Bert’s Big Adventure ten years ago. Each year they take chronically and terminally ill children, along with their families, to Disneyworld. Six Bert’s Big Adventure families have become Kate’s Club families. Stacey shared that we can’t underestimate how important it is to provide these services to families when they have suffered such heartbreaking loss.
The Lesson: Talking about grief and addressing grief are a critical part of the healing process.
Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta City Council President, lost his dad when he was in elementary school. He described the ride with his brother to the hospital where his mom told them their dad had died. Upon hearing the news, his brother began to laugh and Ceasar begin to cry.
The Lesson: Everyone grieves differently. Respect everyone’s journey.
As a CNN anchor Isha Sesay has covered stories across the globe and on Saturday she shared her story with us. Her dad died when she was twelve and when speaking about her love for him she began to cry saying, “You just never get over the grief.”
The Lesson: You never know what little or big moments will bring the raw emotions of grief rushing back.
The big surprise of the night was an appearance by the kids of Kate’s Club to sing “This Little Light of Mine” with the band. When Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman for District 2, spoke about his father’s funeral he recalled the processional down Auburn Avenue where mourners sang the same song. He said this evening helped give him closure.
The Lesson: There is no timeline for grief.
Thank you to our honorees for sharing their grief journeys in such an honest way. And thank you to everyone who came Saturday night to make it one that Kate’s Club will never forget. We look forward to sharing our next decade with you!