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Gala In Memphis, + Yes I Can! Award

May 14, 2009

Quote of the Day: “You think that’s their real signatures?”—Darius, talking about a basketball signed by the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team, an item up for auction (and, yes, they were real signatures).

After Pennsylvania, Darius and the crew made the trek to Memphis, Tennessee, in a return to one of our favorite places.

There, we caught up with our friends from our last visit to Rhodes: Katie Amundson, Allie Henson, Karolina Grabowicz, and Andyshea Saberioon. In the picture above, Katie helps D shoot toothpicks at the ceiling of a restaurant.

The Memphis gang got in touch with Mohamad Hakimian, owner of Memphis’s gorgeous Madison Hotel.

Not only did Mr. Hakimian put Darius and the crew up at the Madison, he also agreed to host a joint Darius Goes West - MDA fund-raising gala in their ballroom, free of charge.

Through the gala, guests donated to the fight against muscular dystrophy in ticket purchases to get in, as well as a silent auction.

Included in the auction were jewelry, clothing, and sports memorabilia, along with a week at a Utah resort and other great items.

Huge props to the Memphis gang in finding the contacts who donated, and especially Ali and Gita Saberioon for their hard work in bringing people and auction items to the event.

The night was a fantastic success—before it was winding down guests were already asking Andyshea and friends about next year’s event. Thank you, and congratulations, Katie, Allie, Karolina, Andyshea, Ali, Mohamad, Gita, and everyone else who put their sweat into the event!

While Darius and some of the crew were in Memphis, John and Collin were in Seattle to present a video of Darius’s acceptance speech for the CEC’s 2009 Yes I Can! Award and present clips of the film to conference attendees. The Yes I Can! Award recognizes young people with disabilities who are changing the world and challenging people’s preconceptions. Darius is pumped to be a recipient of the Yes I Can! Thank you, Cheryl Rhodes for nomination Darius, and thank you, Council for Exceptional Children!


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One Response to “Gala In Memphis, + Yes I Can! Award”

  1. On August 8th, 2015, Karen said:

    it, because I hate saniyg it. I only want to share that because it explains why I think of you and your family often. There are no words that I can say that will give you comfort from that beautiful angel you lost, Ronan! But Ronan will make a difference, I can feel it! I too came to know you from that beautiful song that Taylor Swift dedicated to your boy. I have been reading your blog ever since. Maya you are not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. Although I dont know you, I draw strength from you. So I have an idea , and maybe this is an idea you have thought of , or maybe one of your other readers but I just want to share it. As I was putting on my makeup today as I do everyday, i happened to look at the name of the eyeshadow I was using it was purple and it was called rockstar (by Urban Decay). I immediatley thought of your Rockstar Ronan. and I thought well why cant someone reach out to Urban Decay or any makeup company and get them to sell a beautiful purple eyeshadow named Rockstar and have all the proceeds go to trying to find a cure for childhood cancer. I agree with you that although I dont want anyone to have cancer at all, breast cancer gets a whole lot and maybe this will be something for our kids! I feel like this could be a great way to raise money .well thats just what I think . Maya you are our voice if you think its a good idea, maybe you have resources to make it happen. Good luck Maya, and Thank youRana

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