It is hard to believe we have only known each other 3 days. These past few days have really bonded us all together in such a wonderful and special way. The children created some very special relationships with our volunteers and staff. I heard more then one of them say they "don't want to leave" (Gage) and "wish they could stay together longer." (Jordan and Justin) This children are leaving with some amazing memories with their families, some wonderful new friendships with the volunteers and other family members and some tools to help manage and work through their personal struggles and fears.
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The weather continued to amaze us all day today as the temperatures remained around 60 degrees all afternoon and evening. The families walked about 4 blocks to Radio City Music Hall after lunch and enjoyed the legendary Christmas Spectacular Show featuring the Rockettes. The children and adults alike were thrilled with the show and also the drinks and popcorn they got to enjoy during it.
Another beautiful day in the city. We enjoyed another magnificent breakfast at the Hotel Novotel at 8:30 this morning. While we ate, we watched four guys change a large billboard. It was impressive to watch, especially at eye level! The weather is warmer today. As I write, it's 64 degrees - toasty considering it's almost December.
After breakfast, everyone headed up to 73rd for our meeting time. Parents had a great session talking about legacy. Linda Stoll, the counselor who skillfully facilitates these sessions said "the session went fabulously and the parents did great work."
Today was an amazing day! We kicked off this morning with a yummy breakfast at the Hotel Novotel enjoying the view of Times Square as we munched on french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, muffins and fruit. The Elliott boys were particularly thrilled at the large steaming mugs of hot cocoa delivered to their table. Following breakfast we had our morning session together. The children had a blast with some very creative activities involving a lot of exploding water and a messy swamp...I will leave it at that to keep the surprise in tact for future Legacy Retreat families.
Times Square was hopping tonight! After our meeting time together we headed down to Times Square Hard Rock Cafe and it was the place to be!!! There were people everywhere. Many of us got to see ourself on the HUGE electronic billboard as we walked through the crowded square. Some of us even watched a man propose to a woman right there in the middle of Times Square with a camera projecting them onto the big screen. (She said, "Yes")
Today the Inheritance of Hope volunteers and staff have visited LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports and welcomed 7 families from Florida, West Virginia, Oregon, Utah, Texas, and Georgia. We are pleased to share that all the families arrived on time and with all their luggage. They drove over a bridge or through a tunnel to the island of Manhattan to the Hotel Novotel. The view from this magnificent hotel looks out over Times Square. Within minutes of arriving
Our first Times Square Legacy Retreat begins tomorrow!
After months of anticipation, the Times Square Legacy Retreat is almost here! Our volunteers have arrived from all across the country, and we all met tonight to make our final preparations.
I feel very blessed to have so many volunteers returning after serving at previous Legacy Retreats. Eight people volunteering this weekend are experienced pros, and I can't imagine doing these retreats without them. Their understanding of what to do and how and when to do it is invaluable, and they make everything so much fun.
We also have a couple of newcomers to our volunteer team, and I am excited about the energy they bring.
Stay up-to-date with the NYC Legacy Retreat!
For our Times Square Legacy Retreat, I am excited to introduce two new online features! During the entire retreat I will be posting live updates on both this blog and Twitter. I hope these tools will help friends, family, and supporters stay up-to-date on our experiences in NYC. Check back often to keep up with us!
Most of my days are spent planning, coordinating and thinking about the upcoming Legacy Retreat in New York City. I am very excited to meet these 9 families and I am excited for them to meet each other. I was privileged to meet one of the families (pictured above) attending this Retreat a couple of years ago. I didn't know our paths would cross again but clearly that was the plan! Check out my friend Nikki Farley's recent post on her husband's caringbridge site regarding the timing of this Legacy Retreat for their family.
I was watching a movie with my son this week....The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. There is a climactic moment in the movie when the Narnians are fighting the Telmarines and things are not going well for the good guys. King Peter makes the decision to pull his troops out and he yells at the top of his lungs, "RETREAT...RETREAT....RETREAT!!!" This message is yelled until the entire army hears the order and pulls back to safety.