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Darius Back In Cleveland–the Place Still Rocks

December 03, 2008

Quote of the day: “Some people like football or basketball. I can’t play basketball, but I can express myself through music.”—Darius, when asked if rap was a release for him.

Next for Darius and crew was Cleveland, where we met up with Kristin Dailey, Elizabeth (one of her daughters), and Steven (her son).

A couple of months ago, Kristin hosted the first-ever stop on our year-long, million-DVD goal. That first visit to Cleveland was a great way to kick things off, so we had high expectations for the second one.

Cleveland did NOT disappoint…

First we went to Kristin’s kids’ school, Gesu, where the students watched Darius Goes West using our schools program.

Gesu definitely made us feel welcome.

In fact, there was a special welcome sign for each one of us! (Jason sends many thanks to Katie and Hannah for this one!)

Gesu students also gave Darius an awesome shirt signed by the whole grade. But the best part wasn’t the stuff the students brought us…

It was the students themselves!

When we got to Cleveland, the ground was covered in snow. Students had been worried that they wouldn’t be able to see Darius if school got canceled for snow.

Sister Linda, Gesu’s principal, told us that it was the first time she ever heard students hoping against a snow day.

We used our visit to discuss what we can do to motivate people to help our cause. Here are a few ideas we came away with.

1. Use word-of-mouth to get EVERYONE on board
2. Make a fundraising contest between schools
3. DGW II: “Darius Goes Surfing” (actually, that was just cameraman John Hadden’s idea)
4. Videos—made by the crew AND by students
5. A Darius Goes West videogame

After our visit to Gesu (and some delicious food from the school’s cafeteria crew), we pitted ourselves against the elements and did the unthinkable…went outside in the Ohio cold.

After the initial shock, the cold wasn’t too bad. With everybody pitching in…

we even made a snow-Darius to show for our efforts.

Next up was a fundraiser, hosted by Kristin and husband Matt, their respective (and awesome) parents, Charlie & Kathy and Don & Mary Jo, as well as friends Dee & Greg, and Stefanie & Etienne. This group really showed off their organizing skills.

There was great food…

a silent auction with fabulous prizes…

and a raffle, moderated by DGW’s driver Daniel (with help, of course, from Kristin).

Every loose end was tied up…

and the attendees showed their appreciation.

Thanks to everybody’s hard work, it was a BIIIG night for the cause. Go Cleveland!

This is our second time in Cleveland, and the Cleveland-Akron area—like all of Ohio—has been wonderful to Darius and crew.

They’ve been so great, D rapped for our Cleveland hosts as a special treat.

It was definitely a night to remember.

The next day, two lucky families (parents were Dee & Greg and Megan & Mike) redeemed one of the silent auction awards—brunch with Darius.

We didn’t leave until we had enlisted a whole army to help us in our cause.

Brunch—with the great food and unbeatable company—was a great way to wind down our second Ohio visit.

Every time we’re up there, they make it harder to leave.

Thank you, Kristin, Matt, Elizabeth, Sarah, Steven, Dee, Greg, Stefanie, Etienne, Charlie, Kathy, Don, Mary Jo, Tim, Gesu, and all the many, many people who made Cleveland such a success! And happy birthday, Steven; we’re glad we could share it with you!

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One Response to “Darius Back In Cleveland–the Place Still Rocks”

  1. On December 4th, 2008, Logan said:

    Miss you guys!

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