The benefit on Saturday went really well. I have to give my thanks to Rosemary at San Diego Dialed In for posting something on her blog to help spread the word.
But here’s the thing. I had about 30 pre-paid reservations, not bad, but really I expected more. I repeatedly checked the Paypal account that was set up and nothing new was posted. I had updated my email after I moved so I didn’t know why I wasn’t getting any more responses. I figured I’d get some walk-ups.
Prepping for the event was good. I had some great help from some awesome volunteers including Jimmy Duke of Dark-Thirty house concerts (my co-presenter), Bill & Shirlee of Canyonfolk house concerts and Patricia W who instigated the whole idea. We got the chairs set up, BH got the sound system put up, the kitchen was organized and stocked with coffee, water, and desserts for the guests. I made some programs and bought some food for the green room.
When doors opened, one of the first people said that they had paid for their tickets (the donation to the cause that got them into the show) via Paypal but I didn’t have their name on my list. Multiply that by 10. I thought I had 30 pre-paid but I actually had about double that. It threw off the seating we’d set up and what we expected from walk-ups. But the most important part of it was, where was that money and why hadn’t I been notified? This issue stuck in my craw for the rest of the night, but I was able to forget it for a while as the show went on.
To start off, we showed a video clip narrated by Eric Lowen about his career and his diagnosis. I think it was a perfect way to start the show so that everyone could know, if they didn’t already, who was on the receiving end of their donations. Then I introduced Berkley Hart and they did an amazing set, bringing the crowd to their feet and demanding more. It was awesome!
Then there was a short break before Joel Rafael was introduced. He was joined by Dan Rothchild on bass. And they did an amazing set as well, also receiving an ovation and an encore.
Both acts spoke poignantly of Eric and were able to tell personal stories that I think really connected everyone together. It was a wonderful spirit and vibe in the air and the venue really lent itself to fostering that feeling as well. In the end, a solid number I had was $2200 that we raised. I am really pleased with that! Of course, there’s another $500 out there, too, that is in Paypal limbo. Here’s what I learned:
There is an email address associated with the transactions through the Paypal button and I didn’t know that I needed to update that one. So, people clicked the “Buy Now” button and paid their donation but because my old email address, which I can no longer access, was associated with it, I could not claim the payments. Tonight I had to send out a “mea culpa” email and ask several nice people to request a refund from Paypal and find it in their hearts to re-donate. I’ve gotten some nice responses back from people so I hope it will all work out, but still, what a pain in the ass!
Bottom line, though, I get to send at least $2200 to a man who can really use it on behalf of many people who cared enough to participate. I am humbled and grateful to everyone.
My aunt Mia arrives in LA for an extended visit tomorrow. We’re trying to figure out when we’ll get a chance for them (including my sister & T) to come down and see the new house. We talked of Sea World but we have some other things happening that afternoon/evening so it may be difficult.
I mentioned the wild splashes of color. I took a picture near my work, the light purple doesn’t come across as well as I’d hoped but you should get an idea.
We’re going to the baseball game on Thursday! We’re doing Park at the Park and having some friends meet us to enjoy a night of baseball. Yay!
That’s all for now. Time for bed!