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Awhile back I posted about an idea some of us “blog moms” came up with to honor Tripp. I was BEYOND amazed at the number of people who responded and the amount of funds we were able to raise. As you probably remember, we wanted to keep the whole thing as much of a surprise as we could for Rachael and her family and I think we achieved that goal! I would get chills any time I’d tell someone what we had planned and then what we were able to do once all the funds finished coming in. We ended up raising over $800! Our initial goal was to purchase a tree and bench with our funds but we well surpassed our goal. I know many of you contributed and would like to know how your money was spent (and I feel ya on that one!) so here is some of the letter we gave to Rachael and Greg detailing why we purchased everything (we also included a beautiful card about strength and listed each of your names alphabetically):
Yoshino Cherry Tree: We all knew when Tripp passed away that we wanted to do something and that this huge online community would pull together for something significant for your family to always have in Tripp’s memory. This beautiful tree symbolizes friendship and the evanescence of human life. It will also (hopefully!) bloom each year in March for Tripp’s birthday! We hope when you look at it you are not only reminded of Tripp, but also of all your friends who love you, support you, and pray for you often.
Bench: We hope this bench gives you a place to sit and think of Tripp. We also envisioned it being a special spot for family pictures and such throughout the years. We felt like this was a great thing to have in addition to the tree as just in case you move someday and are unable to relocate the tree you can keep this bench forever (and it requires no maintenance!).
Blurb Card: A blog reader of yours suggested that a great gift from your online friends would be a blog book to keep the entries of your choice forever.
Medieval Times: When collections were finished we were shocked at the amount of donations and decided that the leftover money should be used towards something FUN that you wouldn’t normally do yourself. Why not make some great memories as a family at Medieval Times? It’s a blast and the food is good too!
Hyatt Place: In addition to something FUN for your family we though it’d be nice to have something FUN for just the two of you 😉 Hyatt was wonderful in providing us with a gift card and we thought a nice night in Atlanta would be a great time away from it all to focus on some “special time.”
Visa Gift Card: Obviously this can be used wherever Visa is taken on anything you decide but we pictured you using it towards your night away in Atlanta together!
We were so blessed by all of you with your contributions! When we went on a hunt for the tree we were even blessed further. We were able to find a guy who gave us an awesome deal on the tree (which is why we could do so much above and beyond that), delivered it directly to Rachael and Greg’s home, AND planted it for them! How sweet was that? (His name is Chris Dunford and the nursery is Stovall Nursery up North of Atlanta if anyone needs a good nursery!)
We also found a beautiful bench online and purchased a plaque to go on the bench (gotta give them a shout-out too: www.hayneedle.com). We felt like we wanted everything to be as positive as possible, so we opted to put “Tripp Remembered with a Smile” on the inscription. The company was SO accommodating because their plaques were only set up to do a message first followed by a name and weren’t large enough to fit all the characters to write “remembered with a smile.” However, once we talked to them and told them the situation they found a way to make it all work for us!!! It just goes to show that people in the world really are good at heart ya know?
Working on getting the delivery set up was tricky and I’m thankful to Rachael’s mom for being our “inside man” on this operation! She helped figure out a good day and time and Chris was so great working with us and delivering it on Saturday morning. I’m beyond thankful to him for being willing to deliver ALL our goodies for us and not just the tree…and Katie was awesome for getting it all to him since I’m so far away!
I was visiting my dad on Saturday, aka delivery day, and I was filled with so much anticipation! I got a call from Rachael that afternoon saying she got everything and it was so good to hear so much JOY in her voice. I was nervous that it would all make her sad and I’m happy that she felt our love for her and her family and that she was happy about everything! She posted about their special gift on her blog but I thought I should post here too as some of you may not see her post since she updates so often 🙂
Here is what the tree will hopefully look like in the spring (we made sure to get white blossoms for Tripp and not the traditional pink as duh, pink is not very “boyish”):
here’s how it looks now (isn’t it awesome how tall it is already?)
my favorite thing of all is the bench isn’t is beautiful?
I LOVE the plaque too! Turned out so great, wish I could see it in person!
I stole these from Rachael’s blog as obviously we felt it’d be best for delivery to be a family only affair 🙂
isn’t this so sweet of Macy?
I’m so, so thankful to you all for your part in making this happen. For me personally, this has been a special journey as Tripp’s death has really affected my own life in so many ways. This gift for his family was helpful for my own healing-to feel like I was helping in some small way allowed me to feel a little better. Does that make any sense? I know each of you have been praying for the Copponex Family and I urge you to keep it up as they will continue to need our prayers, love, comfort, and support while they heal. Thank you to each of you who contributed to this effort and made it a REALITY:
Lindsey Byers, Liz Drucker, Troy Dunham, Melody Eberhardt, Meghan Faulkner, Jeff and Kelly Ford, Melissa Gouge, Chris and Katie Green, Kim Harner, Jake and Valerie Head, Katie Hitchcock, Melissa Holderried, Missy Jacobs, Bryan and Shauna Jarvis, Dylan Jarvis, Julie Jay, Jennifer and Connie Johns, Tanya Jones, Allison Koppel, Lejla Makarivic, Julie McIver, Terry Miller, Lisa Moultrie, Matt and Robyn Mullican, Melissa Nash, Sandi (Gauthier) Osborne, Rusty and Charlotte Parker, Zach and Emily Parker, Louis, Glynn, Taylor and Garner Pilat, Lindsey Robertson, Jody Sedgley, Kori Smith, Gaye Tankersley, Ashley Troutman, Emily Tyson, Sara Watins, and Cassandra Wooldridge
A special thank you to my fellow “blog moms” who made this happen: Katie and Kelly , you guys were amazing and I am so indecisive (as you quickly learned) that no decisions would have been able to be made if I wasn’t able to bounce it all off you!!! I’m glad that through this I’ve gained two good friends who are now friends outside the blog world too 🙂
Thank you all again!!!