That's me and Heather McHugh, the extraordinary poet, MacArthur Genius Award winner and founder of CAREGIFTED, the organization that sent me on a week-long respite trip, all expenses paid, last June in beautiful Victoria, Canada. Keep reading the rest of this post to learn about an upcoming benefit for CAREGIFTED in Seattle right around the AWP conference. I'll be at the benefit and would love to see any of you there! Please share if you're a caregiver or a Seattlite or just know of people who might donate to this worthy organization.
via Heather McHugh's Facebook page:
PRETTY IN PINK star Molly Ringwald not only won hearts by doing John Hughes movies, but she also sings JAZZ! She'll be coming to Seattle on Feb 28 to do just that, a performance for CAREGIFTED caregiver respite-- and so will emeritus US POET LAUREATE Robert Pinsky and world-touring jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood-- all three are taking time out from their own tours in order to come to Seattle to perform for the benefit of the weariest souls on earth-- and it'll all happen at the eye-boggling Chihuly boathouse (a private venue). Only people who get their tickets at this link can come!
With more than 10,000 writers due to come to town for the AWP conference that week, and only 175 tickets, the slots will get swallowed up-- so if you have an interest in caregivers or if you already live in the incomparable Pacific Northwest, you might want to grab your tickets BEFORE the announcement is posted elsewhere this week to all the out-of-towners making their own plans for a week here.. ALL proceeds go to respite for the weariest of family caregivers-- these are the ones who have spent a decade or more giving up opportunies of their own in order to take care of someone who can't take care of him or herself. And they do it until one of them dies. Talk about love. No better Valentine's day gift than this one, for you or anyone else.
Caregivers of the kind CAREGIFTED serves are saving ALL OF US billions of dollars of institutionalization costs-- and they are invisibly working day and night in every extended family, every neighborhood. Most people turn away, if they notice at all. But the fact is, these caregivers can teach us the truth about love. Our first single dad caregiver (of a severely disabled teenager) is taking his CAREGIFTED getaway in 2014-- he and another caregiver who will be at this Chihuly Boathouse Benefit Soiree and both are featured in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ78gHne0LM
(The other is the woman who MADE the film clip, the cherishable Elizabeth Aquino). At the event Feb 28 (5 to 8:30) you'll be able to raise a glass to both of them, and 8 other CAREGIFTED awardees, and also see what Adam Larsen has been doing lately with our CAREGIFTED documentary (he just appeared on POV on PBS).
Not to mention a chance to bid on rare art works like a signed Samuel Beckett novel's first edition, and a signed Linda McCartney photograph, holidays in Whistler and Vancouver Island, and more...
This event ain't cheap, but includes all these amazing people, artists, performances, food, drink, and a location that you'll never see anywhere else-- one-of-a-kind, a real dazzler-- and your choosing THIS for a Valentine's Day present to someone who can be in Seattle Feb 28 will ensure we can go on giving our all-expense-paid weeklong getaways to these most desperately-tired caregivers from all over the country.
This is MY Valentine's gift to YOU, letting you know before the rest of the world does. Now pass it on, yourself, for love!