The Second Annual Pokemon/Beyblade Party, held on Saturday to benefit Autism Speaks, made me proud to be an "Emmaus-ian."
Organized by Lower Macungie Middle School teacher Alice Boulrice, the event was moved to St. Margaret's Church this year because last year's innaugural party all but busted out of its quarters in the Emmaus Public Library.
I really got to know Alice as she was pulling together last year's event. We are both "Lincoln" moms and we were crossing paths weekly at one of the wonderful nighttime story sessions for elementary school children offered by the Emmaus library last year.
Alice started to chat with me and a few of the other moms hanging out in the library about the Pokemon/Beyblade Party she was organizing to raise money for her family's team in the Lehigh Valley Autism Walk. We all brainstormed ways Alice could get the word out about the event and offered to do whatever we could to help.
My two sons attended last year's party and pretty much spent the past 12 months wondering if "Miss Alice" was going to do the party again this year. Once they found out that a second Pokemon/Beyblade Party was happening, the conversation shifted to a monthly, then weekly, then daily countdown to the much-anticipated event.
That event was Saturday.
Alice tentatively expressed her hopes in a Facebook post publicizing the party, for 50 children to attend. (She had 30 kids pre-registered.)
Fifty kids did show up, raising a total of $565 for "Team Chukoskie."
Some of the many reasons this event made me so proud of the place I live and work:
- Alice and her team of dedicated volunteers pulled the entire party together and it went off without a hitch -- with 50 little people in the room!
- St. Margaret's donated the space for the party to Alice and her family free-of-charge. The St. Margaret's Pastor and his wife, as well as a St. Margaret's board member, spent the afternoon volunteering at the event.
- Joe's Pizza II donated the eight pizzas that fed the little people at the party.
- At the end of the afternoon, my eight-year-old son won the Beyblade tournament, leaving with the poster-sized final tournament bracket sheet to hang on his wall and a certificate of achievement.
And, yes, the countdown to the third annual Pokemon/Beyblade Party has already begun.
P.S. Today is Autism Awareness Day. Many businesses in the Lehigh Valley are lighting blue. In Emmaus, Creamery on Main is expected to participate.