We continue to find ourselves thankful for the many blessings that have come our way, despite the turbulence of the past two years…
Our newest blessing arrived on Saturday, March 27 at 12:07pm. Claire Anneliese Ekis made her debut weighing 7 pounds and measuring 19 inches. We are thrilled and totally in love with our new baby girl. We chose her first name simply because we liked the sound of it…it’s kind of old-fashioned! It means clear, bright or famous (or, as Grace would say--“famouser”). Claire’s middle name was Grace’s favorite name ever…she wanted to name our dog Anneliese, her baby dolls Anneliese and just about anything else that she could think of Anneliese! The funny thing is that when I went to look up the meaning of the name, I found out that Anne comes from the Hebrew Hannah, which itself means Grace. And Liese is derived from the name Elizabeth, which means “pledged to God.” How could it be that our Grace Elizabeth loved a name that actually meant her name? I assume it was just one of the many things that she just knew. Hence, there was not a more perfect middle name…Anneliese. In caring for Claire in the past 9 days, I cannot deny that when I look into her beautiful eyes it is as though she has already met her big sister. The closeness of a newborn baby to heaven is undeniable to me…how I wish I were there to hear the conversation!
Yet another blessing is the incredible support our extended community has shown for the Reflections Of Grace Foundation. In the past few months, events such as a Longaberger Basket Bingo, Hillcrest Intermediate School’s “Valentines for Grace”, the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business Alumni Association’s Monte Carlo Night fundraiser, and Norwin Middle School’s “Penny Wars” have all directly benefited the Foundation. In addition, a number of schools and businesses have graciously participated in our Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve program by sponsoring a dress-down day for their employees.
Then, the 3rd Annual Race For Grace was held on Saturday, March 20. Once again, the Race was an overwhelming success! It was a beautiful day in more ways than one. The weather was perfect (to think we were worried that there might still be snow on the ground!) and nearly 2,000 people were in attendance. After months of hard work and planning, the Race raised more than $70, 000 in support of the mission of Reflections Of Grace. The success of the day would not have been possible without the unending dedication of our wonderful committee members and countless volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure that the day went smoothly. I urge you to visit the web site (www.reflectionsofgrace.org) and view the race results, photo gallery, television news reports and newspaper articles that summarize the day.
Speaking of the web site, we want to announce that the gift store is now up and running. There you can purchase Foundation and Race For Grace apparel, accessories, or make a donation. Also, remember if you have not signed up for email updates on www.reflectionsofgrace.org, be sure to do so by entering your email address in the space near the mail box on the left-hand side of the home page. This way we can email you directly from the Foundation web site even if Care Pages is not functioning correctly.
We remain blessed...
“It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich….”