It was January 1997 days after the end of Christmas vacation at Watertown-Mayer Middle School. I was a sixth grader who was somewhere in the middle of what could only be described as a “Jim Carrey phase.”
Then one day, there was this gangly new girl in class and her locker was right next to mine. The girl’s name? Courtney Vanderlinde.
Courtney transferred to Watertown-Mayer from a neighboring parochial school. I don’t know why she transferred mid-year, but it didn’t matter. Courtney was awesome in the most fabulously awkward way. We were “locker buddies” in no time.
All the way through high school our lockers were right next to each other. I have to wonder, was it fate or luck that our two odd last names, Vanderlinde and Venske, kept us side-by-side all those years?
In the process of growing up we shared every adolescent drama, all the highs and especially the lows. The break-ups and failures, the pimples and practices, the tears and fears.
As I’m sure is true in your own life, there are friends that come and go…especially during puberty! Then there are others who will always be there.
Courtney is my forever-friend.
We’ve partied in Vegas…
Sailed the high seas…
I even flew home from China to officiate Courtney & MJ’s wedding!
Courtney just the kind of person you want in your life. She’s a great listener, offers brilliant advice, has an amazing laugh, and a magnetic energy. She’s like the sister I always wanted.
I’d do anything to help my locker buddy.
Which is why I’m writing to you.
On Saturday, May 7th, Courtney and I are co-hosting Morels & Memories: A Mushroom Hunt & Alzheimer’s Fundraiser.
Because Alzheimer’s Disease:
- …has no known cause or cure
- …is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA
- …affects Courtney’s mom and millions more
In 2011 Courtney’s mom, Heidi, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 49.
You probably know someone who’s either living with this disease, providing care for someone with this disease, or you’ve had to say goodbye to someone because of this disease.
All of these reasons and more are why I auditioned for and toured with The Remember Project. I needed to do something then and now.
Do you want to do something that’s helpful AND fun?
Did you know morel mushrooms can’t be farmed? That’s why they’re often expensive (like $32/lb). Morels can only grow in the wild!
By participating you’ll:
- …get to keep every morel mushroom you find!
- …explore 180 acres with trained guides!
- …be eligible for prizes for: first found, longest, heaviest mushrooms!
- …see cooking demos, taste samples, & receive recipes!
- …pay the 100% tax-deductible participation fee of $50
Participation is extremely limited!
You can also find the event on Facebook.
If you can’t attend the event, but still want to help I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, too.
By participating in this event, I’ve committed to raising awareness and funds to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.
My goal is $250. Will you help me reach that goal?
Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk and we must come together to change the course of this disease.
Please support my efforts by making a donation. All funds raised benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and its work to enhance care and support programs and advance research toward methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Thanks for reading and considering attending the event. This means a lot to Courtney, her family, and mine.
Courtney and I can’t wait to see you at the event and give you a free high-five!