Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Launch Celebration: May 21, 2009 at the W Hotel

Where to start.... On May 21, 2009, Paul and I had one of the most memorable evenings of our life. We had a sold out crowd with 400 registered guests. Brad had assembled a planning committee and group of volunteers that totalled over 30 people. In addition to that, there were all the people from the W Hotel making the evening special for our guests. This event will be viewed forever through the eyes of our photographer who took over 400 photos of the evening and a videographer who captured the essence of every aspect of the evening. We will share that with you when it is completed.

The guest speakers who shared their personal stories with our guests were moving. There were tears in the audience. Paul and I weren't sure if the lump in our throat would go away before we were behind the podium. Our boys spoke prior to us and we could not have been more proud of them. The Emcee of the evening was absolutely fabulous. He had just enough humor and was extremely prepared for every transition with just the right introduction. Paul and I shared our remarks with the crowd. Paul brought down the house with his golfer joke. We were humbled by the turnout and warm words of support we received from our guests. It was amazing.

And then the celebration became an out and out PARTY! The Belladivas turned up the energy with their wonderful singers and band. They definitely earned their award as the best group of the Twin Cities area. Esera Tuaolo sang two wonderful songs followed by Candi Stratton with her Cher impersonation. The evening ended with the Belladivas rocking the house. The room was still full of energy with people lingering after the last song was sung. It was a true celebration of diversity where everyone could be themselves and feel good about who they are.

A huge thank you goes to Brad and his committee for putting the details together and making this the best party ever! I am sure there has never been a book launch like this one......

KSTP Twin Cities Live

May 21, 2009 was a day to remember on so many fronts. Two days prior to our Book Launch, we received a notice from our publicist that Twin Cities Live wanted us for an interview. We were interviewed over the phone by the producer and then it was a go for the show. We were unaware of the questions we were going to be asked which gave us some nervous moments.

Once we arrived at KSTP, we were welcomed and escorted to our "holding area." Paul observed their wall of fame with famous guests throughout the years such as Edgar Bergen, Andy Griffin and many more actors and sports stars. We weren't there very long before being called to studio.

We sat on the couch to see how the three of us looked - usually they don't have more than two people. Andrew was able to come with us but Brad was too busy with final details of the Book Launch.

John Hanson and Rebekah Wood, co-hosts of TCL, made us feel very comfortable. John talked with Andrew about his work and life in Las Vegas. I think we talked nonstop for 15 minutes before going on the air.

The interview was about 9 minutes and was at the top of the hour. They asked good questions and we felt comfortable with our answers. It was a great experience. It you haven't watched Twin Cities Live, be sure to tune in. Both co-hosts are amazing. Click on this link to view the interview:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Caledonia SEED Workshop: May 11, 2009

It was great to visit Paul's hometown of Caledonia, Minnesota. We spend three hours with dedicated educators from Caledonia, Spring Grove, and La Crescent along with other school personnel. We ended our time with our Ready or Not...Let's Talk discussion cards. We left Caledonia feeling we had contributed something important to the lives of those who attended and the many students and parents who may benefit from our words through their educators. Here is a review from the instructor of the SEED group.

Your presentation was a powerful reminder to me of how important it is to be'ready' for life's surprises and challenges. Even when we're really skilled at'talking the talk', we may not always be ready to 'walk the walk'. I think the love and acceptance you show for your sons is and will be a comfort to so many others who face these kinds of challenges. I especially appreciate your courage in speaking out and your commitment to advocating for LGBT youth at home, school, and in the community. It's so easy for me to become complacent about the needs of LGBT youth. I appreciate your respectful, yet powerful reminder that their struggles really can be a matter of life or death, and I can never stop'walking in their shoes'.

Your well-organized presentation was respectful and educational, but filled with humor and love. Thank you again for joining us at SEED, and we hope to see you and hear you speak again very soon!

Deb Morse, School Psychologist
Hiawatha Valley Education District 507-725-5205, ext 1231
Caledonia Elementary
507-725-3316, ext 2008
Caledonia Middle/High 608-769-1619 Cell